Paediatric international travellers from Greece: characteristics and pre-travel recommendations.Travel Med Infect Dis. 2012 May; 10(3):135-9.TM
The aim of this study was to describe the children who seek pre-travel advice in Greece. During 2008-2010, 4065 persons sought pre-travel services in the 57 Prefectures, including 128 (3.15%) children <15 years. Main travel destinations were sub-Saharan Africa (54 children; 42.2%), South America (18; 14.1%), the Middle East (16; 12.5%), the Indian subcontinent (12; 9.4%), and South East Asia (7; 5.5%). Seventy-six children (59.4%) stayed for <1 month, 34 (26.6%) for 1-6 months, and 10 (7.8%) for >6 months. Recreation was the main purpose of travel (81 children; 63.3%), followed by work (24; 18.8%), and to visit friends and relatives (VFRs) (14; 10.9%). Paediatric travellers VFRs stayed more frequently in local residences compared to non-VFR paediatric travellers (85.7% and 20.2%). Children stayed more frequently in local residences and travelled more frequently for recreational purposes or to VFRs (27.3%, 63.3%, and 10.9%, respectively), compared to older travellers (11.9%, 58.8%, and 4%, respectively). Malaria chemoprophylaxis was prescribed for 64.8% of children travelling to sub-Saharan Africa. This study demonstrated clearly that only a very small number of international paediatric travellers seek pre-travel services in Greece. Communication strategies to access paediatric travellers should be developed in order to improve travel medicine services for children in Greece.