AISV President’s Message

I recently attended The Southern Cross Travel Medicine Conference in Melbourne and was amazed to hear that India was the diarrhoea capital of the world in addition to Typhoid disease.

India topped in the incidence of Diarrhoeal diseases in the world; and through the International traveller, ex- ported the diarrhoeal diseases to all parts of the world.

The other distressing news was that India had the highest incidence of Typhoid disease affecting the travellers to India. Typhoid and diarrhoeal diseases are spread from sewerage contaminated water and from person to person contact.

There is a much higher risk for immigrants living in developed nations and travelling home, which may be a third world nation, in our instance India, of developing hepatitis A, Typhoid and diarrhoeal diseases from our relatives who may not have been vaccinated. Immunisation against Typhoid and Hepatitis A prevents people from contracting Typhoid and Hepatitis A

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease and is on the rise all over the world. Chil- dren under five years of age are at high risk of contracting the disease. Parents going back home to India to visit friends and relatives for more than four weeks with their young children should seriously consider having their children vaccinated with the BCG vaccination. TB is commonly more severe in children under the age of 5 years. The protective efficacy of BCG vaccine varies and the protection rate is around 50%. However, it is about 80 percent protective against disseminated TB (where TB has spread to other parts of the body including the spine and brain), TB meningitis and death.

India has unfortunately also got the Zika Virus and the vector (mosquito) that transmits this virus. Dengue fever and Chicken gunya virus is also present and in an epidemic form. There is no vaccination available as yet and the only protection is to use an insect repellent containing 80 % DEET as the mosquitoes have developed resistance to the milder forms of insect repellents.

On a positive note Rabies has been controlled and possibly eradicated from the state of Goa. This was done through the efforts of WHO (World Health Organisation). All dogs in Goa were vaccinated against the rabies virus and there have been no reported cases of Rabies in Goa in the last three years.


We had an AGM scheduled in March this year. Unfortunately as in some previous years we did not have a quorum and the AGM was postponed to a later date.

For some reason quite unknown to me the then Secretary formed an opinion that there was lack of interest in AISV, there were no new members, the life members were getting old and possibly no longer interested in AISV. However, this did not eventuate and the second AGM on 9 July had thirty two life members who were keen to see that the oldest organisation did not fold away. I am extremely grateful to them for attending the AGM and saving AISV.

We have a very dedicated team of new committee members and hopefully someone in the committee will take over from me to run the AISV for next few decades.

Dr. Gurdip Aurora
President AISV
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