Travelers Health Kit

Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an emergency medical kit used to protect a person exposed to HIV. Research suggests that if medication is initiated quickly after exposure (2-24 hours and no later than 48-72 hours), it may be beneficial. These kits expire, and must be replenished, at substantial cost, so not every facility will have access to one at all times. This should be discussed with the host facility as part of the planning process, so that provisions can be made on both sides.  Contact Occupational Health.

Packing a Personal health kit: Some items are not available while traveling. Think about which of these items you might want to have on hand.  Brands are listed for clarification, not endorsement.

  • Personal prescription medications in original containers
  • Antimalarial medications, if applicable
  • Pepto-Bismol and Imodium for upset stomach and diarrhea
  • Antacids reduce indigestion and stomach acidity
  • Decongenstants to treat symptoms of the common cold
  • Anti-motion sickness medication. Can be useful as a sleeping aid
  • Antihistamine (Chlorpheniramineis) for allergy problems and as a sedative
  • Acetaminophen, ibuprofen or other medication for pain or fever
  • Mild laxative 
  • Cough suppressant/expectorant
  • Throat lozenges
  • Antibiotic Ointment (apply to insect bites as well)
  • Antifungal (1% hydrocortisone) In humidity fungal infections develop rapidly
  • Calamine and 1% Hydrocortisone cream for itchy rashes
  • Sunscreen, Lip Balm (hat and sunglasses)
  • Iodine Tablets or water purifier if you cannot easily boil water
  • Insect Repellents (DEET) 30-50% are important in malarial and tropical areas
  • Flying Insect Spray is useful in sleeping quarters
  • Antiseptic Skin Cleansers. Wash cuts and bites immediately
  • Medical alert bracelet. Store a backup in your wallet
  • Mild sedative or other sleep aid
  • Anti-anxiety and high-altitude medication
  • Aloe gel for sunburns
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Digital thermometer
  • Oral rehydration solution packets are often available locally
  • Clothesline and pins
  • Bandages, gauze, ace wrap, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors, Q-tips
  • Antibacterial wipes or sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Sanitary supplies for women
  • Moleskin for blisters
  • Latex-free gloves
  • Condoms, birth control, Plan B
  • N95 disposable particulate respirator masks for tuberculosis (if applicable)
  • Address and phone of hospitals or clinics. The insurance call will refer you to the best, but it means an international call
  • Insecticide impregnated bednets (check local availability)

Download a print-ready checklist for your use while packing

Last updated: November 20, 2018