Uninformed travellers will be given access to new app on vaccinations, health risks and disease outbreaks
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    Uninformed travellers will be given access to new app on vaccinations, health risks and disease outbreaks

    Nearly 20,000 people visited the travel clinic of the ITM in 2018 for advice before travelling. Credit: NeilsPhotography/ Flickr.

    The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp has launched a new app, Wanda, that informs travellers about different kinds of vaccinations, health risks and disease outbreaks abroad.

    The app informs travellers whether there is “none”, “low” or “moderate” risk of diseases in certain countries.

    It explains, for example, that in the Philippines, there is a risk of dengue fever, that dogs and other animals may be infected with rabies and that there is a risk of schistosomiasis (a disease caused by infection with freshwater parasitic worms) when swimming or bathing in lakes and rivers.

    In addition, the app is “able to forward push messages if there is an outbreak somewhere. I am thinking, for example, of Ebola in Congo,” Dr. Patrick Soentjens told VRT.

    Although nearly 20,000 people visited the travel clinic of the ITM in 2018 for advice before travelling, there are still many people who do not visit a clinic and do little research before travelling.

    “There are many travellers who visit their country of origin and therefore think that vaccinations or medication are unnecessary,” explained Soentjens.

    “We would like to reach these people with the app,” Soentjens added.

    Wanda is available in English, French and Dutch.

    Evie McCullough
    The Brussels Times