Expat survival guide: Self medicating in a third world country

self-medicating abroad

Expats moving to under-developed countries should know how to self-medicate.

Perhaps you are a person who simply loves to travel and go to all sorts of places. In fact, you might even want to visit a third world country. Whether it is for a leisure trip or to serve on a volunteer mission, you should know some information about self medicating.

Get some training

Of course, you might be able to treat a very simple wound by yourself without any sort of medical training. However, if you feel that more serious threats are present, you need to enroll in some professional training courses. For example, it would be wise to take both a CPR class and first aid class before you visit a third world country. Then you will know what to do.

Watch your medication

When you go abroad the same rules and regulations are not going to apply to medications as in your home country. Expats need to be aware of what medicines might contain when bought in a foreign country. It is so important to read the labels very carefully before you purchase and take anything.

In addition, you should make sure that you are looking up the safety standards of the particular country, if these standards are met by the medication and if these standards are really legitimate. Taking a dangerous type of medicine could mean a lot of problems for you.

Health care supplies

When you are self medicating in another country, you might also need to purchase some lotions and bandages to help you manage medical situations. Any sort of ointment or lotion could contain ingredients that are not safe to put on your skin. As with other types of medications, you want to make sure that they are meeting necessary safety ratings and that they are not going to harm your body. While the seriousness of this matter is certainly not the same for bandages and the like, you do want to ensure that no danger exists for you when you are using this equipment.

Local medication

While you might assume that everyone follows the rules of western medicine, this simply is not true. In different countries people might have their own methods for tackling difficult medical situations, and you may be tempted into using these types of treatment programs. Always make sure that the person who is providing you with the medication is a reputable individual and that the substance does not violate any health codes or regulations in the country.

While it really would be best to seek out medical practices with which you are familiar, you might find yourself in a desperate situation where no other answer really exists to make you feel better.

Self medicating tends to pose some sort of risk, and this is true no matter what country you are in. You always want to make sure that the medicines are appropriate and safe to be taken. If you take the wrong type of medication, the results could not only be serious, but they could also wind up being fatal.

Author Pam Johnson is a nurse who travels in third world countries to aid sick patients with lower levels of care and also teaches them medical survival techniques. She obtained one of many Online CNA Degrees.