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JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Travel advice on the prevention of infectious diseases insufficiently obtained by indigenous and non-native inhabitants of Amsterdam, the Netherlands]

H Dijkshoorn, H J Schilthuis, J A R van den Hoek, A P Verhoeff
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2003 April 5, 147 (14): 658-62
12712650

OBJECTIVE: To determine the travel behaviour of inhabitants of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with respect to age and ethnicity, as well as the impact of travel advice, in particular regarding hepatitis A vaccination of Turkish and Moroccan children.

DESIGN: Descriptive.

METHOD: In a sample of 2000 inhabitants of Amsterdam, a survey was carried out during the period October 1999-November 2000 on seeking medical advice prior to travelling. In addition, 429 Turkish and Moroccan parents were questioned about hepatitis A vaccination of their children when travelling to their country of origin.

RESULTS: In the three years preceding the survey one third of the Amsterdam population travelled to a country where infectious diseases such as malaria and hepatitis A were endemic. Many travellers (18%) went to Asia, Central or Latin America and Africa. Others (12%) travelled to the Middle-East or North Africa. One third of the travellers had sought advice from the Municipal Public Health Service of Amsterdam. Other travellers were advised by their general practitioner (10%). A large group (38%) did not seek any advice at all. Almost one third of the travellers went to their country of origin, particularly Turkish and Moroccan inhabitants of Amsterdam. Seventy percent of Turkish and Moroccan travellers had not sought travel advice. More than half the Turkish and Moroccan parents did not have their children vaccinated against hepatitis A when travelling to their country of origin.

CONCLUSION: One fifth of the indigenous Dutch population received no travel advice. More than half of Turkish and Moroccan children travelling to their country of origin were not vaccinated against hepatitis A.

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