“Travel medicine as an instrument of sanitary surveillance of the international health regulations”: a scoping review
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USP Baixo Mondego Portugal
ACES Pinhal Litoral Portugal
USP Espinho/Gaia
USP Alto Tâmegae Barroso Portugal
ACES Baixo Mondego Portugal
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1008
In the last few decades we’ve seen an explosion in the number of travelers around the world, not only for tourism but also in search of a better life. With greater globalization came changes in diseases epidemiology and new and old pathogens threaten to up-end the balance of travel. Travel medicine and the International Health Regulations (IHR) are both part of this equilibrium, but there is little literature linking them both to global health.The purpose was to review both concepts and analyze its contact points and impact.

We based this scoping review on the Joanna Briggs Institute framework on scoping review methods. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) were used as a guide in reporting. We used four major electronic databases (Medline, World of Science, SCOPUS and Google Scholar), and included studies published in English or with English versions easily accessible and grey literature.

A total of 21 articles were included. In terms of data extraction and search, the inclusion was done in broad categories within IHR and travel medicine. the most common applications referenced were vaccines, of those, covid-19 and yellow fever were the most frequently cited. We decided on a narrative approach to results synthesis.

There is sparse literature about travel medicine and its role as an integrated part of the IHR. One issue is the lack of standardization in evaluating IHR impact. Few connections are made directly from clinical practice into the legal framework creating an abstraction from practitioners and their impact on global health. Future research should focus on creating new methods to gather this evidence and to pass it along to practiotiners before new threats emerge.

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