Travel Blog

Public Health Agency of Canada – Hajj Pilgrimage Advisory

Canada’s recent travel advisory regarding Saudi Arabia provides specific details regarding regional risks and security concerns that Canadian travelers should be aware of. With a focus on areas near the border with Yemen, Abha International Airport, and Al Qatif and its suburbs, the advisory aims to ensure the safety and well-being of Canadians traveling to Saudi Arabia. Let’s delve into the specifics of these regional risks and recommended safety measures.

Border with Yemen: Avoid All Travel

The advisory urges Canadians to avoid all travel to areas within 80 km of the border with Yemen. This recommendation is based on the ongoing threat of rocket, missile, and mortar attacks targeting Saudi population centers near the border. The conflict and instability in Yemen have spilled over into border regions, posing significant risks to travelers in the vicinity.

Abha International Airport: Avoid Non-Essential Travel

Non-essential travel to Abha International Airport, located in Asir Province, is discouraged due to the risk of missile and drone attacks. Recent incidents have highlighted the vulnerability of the airport to such attacks, prompting caution among travelers considering visits to this region. Heightened security measures may be in place, but the risk remains a concern for those traveling to or through the airport.

Al Qatif and Its Suburbs: Avoid Non-Essential Travel

The advisory also advises against non-essential travel to Al Qatif and its surrounding suburbs, such as Al Awamiya, in Eastern Province. Tensions between Saudi security forces and local militants have resulted in sporadic unrest and security incidents in this area. Travelers are urged to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary risks when considering travel to these regions.

Recommended Safety Measures

In light of these regional risks, Canadian travelers to Saudi Arabia are advised to take the following safety measures:

  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of the latest developments and updates regarding security conditions in Saudi Arabia, particularly in high-risk regions mentioned in the advisory.
  • Exercise Caution: Exercise vigilance and situational awareness at all times, especially in areas prone to security threats or unrest.
  • Adhere to Travel Restrictions: Respect travel restrictions outlined in the advisory, including avoiding travel to high-risk areas and adhering to any security measures implemented at airports or other transportation hubs.
  • Register with the Embassy: Canadian citizens traveling to Saudi Arabia should register with the Canadian embassy or consulate to receive important updates and assistance if needed.

For a comprehensive travel health consultation, visit the Destinations Travel Clinic. We offer expert guidance and assistance for all your questions and travel needs, including vaccinations, health precautions, and medical advice tailored to your destination.

For more information, travelers can refer to the Canadian Government’s official travel advisory for Saudi Arabia: Canadian Government Travel Advisory.

Additionally, for health requirements and recommendations for travelers to Saudi Arabia, especially for Hajj and Umrah, it is advisable to consult the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health’s website: Health Requirements and Recommendations for Travellers to Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Umrah. This resource offers valuable insights into health-related considerations for travelers to Saudi Arabia, ensuring a safe and healthy journey.

Conclusion

Canada’s detailed travel advisory to Saudi Arabia underscores the importance of understanding and mitigating regional risks when traveling abroad. By staying informed, exercising caution, and adhering to recommended safety measures, Canadian travelers can minimize potential risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in Saudi Arabia. As always, prioritizing personal safety and well-being remains paramount when exploring unfamiliar destinations, particularly those with heightened security concerns.

 

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Navroz Mubarak

This week, people worldwide observe Navroz (Nowruz), a festival that marks the beginning of a new year and the first day of spring. Navroz signifies a time of renewal and rejuvenation, as well as a spirit of gratitude for blessings and an outlook of hope and optimism.

 

Navroz commemorates a centuries-old, agrarian custom that over time was integrated into various cultures and faith traditions. Its origins are traced to ancient Persia, being the first day of the Persian solar year. 

The celebration of Navroz has extended through various parts of the Muslim world and beyond, over the centuries. Today, Navroz is celebrated by some 300 million people in Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and many other countries. In each of these different regions of the world, Navroz is observed in diverse ways. The commemorations blend together local cultures and customs with the religious beliefs and interpretations found in different regions of the world. 

In Iran, Navroz is a national holiday for two weeks, and starts with a spring cleaning of the house. The moment that the sun crosses the celestial equator is calculated to the exact minute and second. At this moment, called Saal Tahvil, literally meaning “turning point of the year,” families gather together around the Haft Seen table to wish one another Navroz Mubarak, exchange gifts, and offer prayers.

On this occasion, Destinations Travel Clinic wishes Navroz Mubarak to our customers and to the Orleans Community.

 

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Medical Considerations for a Healthy Ramadan Fasting Experience

For 30 days, Muslims will fast.  Fasting means nothing goes in the mouth – no food, water or medication. But what about those with medical conditions? Should they be taking part in the fast? Here a things you might want to consider this year during Ramadan.

Listen to Your Body
Prioritize your health during Ramadan by understanding when it’s necessary to break your fast. Islam allows exceptions for those with challenging medical conditions. Avoid self-inflicting pain or injury and consult with medical professionals if needed.

Managing Diabetes
Optimize your fasting experience by learning how to navigate diabetes management. While fasting can benefit those controlling diabetes through diet alone, ensure your health by continuing with medication and insulin as prescribed.

Cancer Treatment
Safeguard your well-being during Ramadan if undergoing cancer treatment. Prioritize adequate nutrition and consult with your healthcare team to ensure fasting won’t compromise your condition or impede recovery.

Seek Professional Advice
If you have recently been diagnosed with a medical condition or are unsure of the impact of fasting, consult with your doctor. Their expertise will guide you on how to maintain a safe and healthy fasting experience.

Medication Timing
Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist regarding adjusting medication schedules while fasting to ensure proper intake and adherence to fasting obligations.

Embrace Ramadan’s spiritual significance while prioritizing your health. By understanding essential medical considerations, managing diabetes, navigating cancer treatment, seeking professional guidance, and optimizing medication timing, you can enjoy a safe and fulfilling fasting experience throughout this blessed month.

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March Break Adventure: Ottawa’s Guide to Healthy Travel with Immunizations

Title: March Break Adventure: Ottawa’s Guide to Healthy Travel with Immunizations

 

As March break approaches, Ottawa residents eagerly anticipate their travel plans. Whether you’re heading to a tropical paradise or exploring a cultural hub, prioritizing health through proper immunization is crucial. Please visit Destinations Travel Clinic for a region-specific consultation and vaccinations to best protect you against any prevalent diseases in these areas.

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Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to all the incredible individuals born on the 29th of February! As your extended family at Centrum Pharmacy, we want you to know how special you are to us. The fact that your birthday comes around only once every four years makes it even more significant for us to celebrate you today!

We recognise the unique nature of your leap year birthday and want to ensure that your day is filled with boundless joy, unforgettable moments, and endless celebrations. Your presence in our lives  brings us joy and inspiration.

On this momentous occasion, as we come together to honour you, we wish you a year filled with love, success, and incredible opportunities. Your leap year birthday is a reminder of the extraordinary journey you are on, and we are privileged to be a part of it.

Here’s to celebrating your leap year birthday in style and creating lasting memories that reflect the remarkable person you are. Know that you have a community of supporters and well-wishers here at Destinations Travel Clinic who are cheering you on every step of the way.

May this day be filled with laughter, love, and happiness, and may the coming years bring you even more fulfilment and success. From all of us at Destinations Travel Clinic, we toast to you, leaplings! Happiest of birthdays to you all, today and every four years!

Happy Birthday Hbd GIF - HappyBirthday Hbd Fireworks - Discover & Share GIFs | Birthday wishes gif, Happy birthday gif images, Happy birthday fireworks
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Black History Month

As Black History Month comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to express our
gratitude and appreciation for the rich and impactful contributions that individuals of African
descent have made throughout history. We are immensely thankful for the strength, resilience,
and achievements of individuals of African descent that continue to inspire and shape our world.

From iconic figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman, to
trailblazers in various fields, individuals of African descent have left an indelible mark on art,
science, literature, sports, and countless other areas. We honour their remarkable
achievements and stories that have paved the way for progress and social change.
We are grateful for the courage, perseverance, and resilience demonstrated these communities
throughout history. From the struggles faced during the Civil Rights Movement to the ongoing
fight for equality and justice, black individuals have shown unwavering strength in the face of
adversity.

Black History Month reminds us of the transformative power of unity, understanding, and
empathy. It serves as a catalyst to deepen our appreciation for the diversity within our society,
and to continuously strive for a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
As members of the Destinations Travel Clinic family, we are committed to fostering an inclusive and
welcoming environment. We celebrate Black history not only during this special month but also
every day, recognizing that the impact and contributions of black individuals are an integral part
of our collective human story.

Thank you to all the individuals of African descent who have shaped history, enriched our lives,
and continue to inspire us. Your legacy lives on, and we are grateful to be part of a world
influenced by your incredible achievements and resilience.
We leave you with a link to an article that introduces you to some of the individuals of African
descent who were pioneers in healthcare.
https://www.aamc.org/news/celebrating-10-african-american-medical-pioneers

With heartfelt thanks,
Everyone at Destinations Travel Clinic

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Weight and COVID-19 Immunity: Vaccination vs. Infection

A recent study found that excess weight affects how the immune system responds to COVID-19,
showing differences between post-infection and post-vaccination immunity. Led by Marcus Tong from
the University of Queensland, the research suggests that being overweight, not just obese, makes SARS-
CoV-2 infections more severe and changes the immune response. (more…)

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Remembering the Sacrifices made for our Freedoms

In honor of Remembrance Day, we stand together to remember and pay tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed for our freedom. At Centrum Pharmacy, we commemorate the heroes who have served and continue to serve our nation with unwavering courage.

On Remembrance Day, and everyday, our hearts are filled with gratitude for their sacrifices made, and we extend our deepest thanks to veterans and their families. 

Let us take a moment to reflect, remember, and appreciate the freedoms we enjoy today because of their dedication. May the poppy symbolize not only remembrance but also our commitment to supporting those who have served.

#RemembranceDay #LestWeForget #HonoringHeroes #ThankYouForYourService

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Closed For Labour Day

We hope you’ve been enjoying a healthy and vibrant summer so far! As Labour Day approaches, we wanted to inform you about our upcoming closure on the following day.

Closure Date: September 4th, 2023 Closed All Day

At Centrum Pharmacy, we believe in the importance of work-life balance and recognizing the hard work of everyone, including our dedicated team. On Labour Day, we will be taking a day off to recharge and spend quality time with our loved ones.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Our online services will still be available during this time, so you can continue to place your refill orders and manage your prescriptions conveniently. We will resume our regular business hours on the following day, ready to assist you with all your health and wellness needs. As the summer comes to a close, let’s all take today to reflect on the hard work that we have achieved so far this year. As we spend time with family and friends, take this moment to relax and recharge your batteries.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support. Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable Labour Day!

Stay healthy and take care, The Centrum Pharmacy Team

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Traveling abroad? Canada has a free service you can sign up for in case of emergencies

From travel insurance to emergency travel medical coverage, there are a lot of ways you can prepare for the unexpected when you’re traveling outside Canada. But did you know that the government has a service for Canadians traveling abroad?

The Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) is a free and confidential service that notifies Canadian citizens outside the country of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. Whether you’re a Canadian traveling or living abroad, signing up for the service ensures you’ll receive the latest information.

“We strongly recommend that all Canadian citizens traveling or living abroad sign up for Registration of Canadians Abroad to receive important information on how to stay safe and secure,” a representative told Daily Hive in an email.

They said that so far, “approximately 420,000 Canadians have registered their presence outside Canada.”

ROCA has been handy in several emergencies in the past.

In early 2020, during the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada helped 62,580 Canadian citizens and permanent residents return home, and stranded Canadians received updates through the ROCA registry.

When internet access is an issue, you’ll receive emergency updates via SMS messages. This feature was beneficial in providing flight times and locations for Canadians affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

So, how do you register? Sign up on the website, where you’ll be asked to provide your details and contact information.

You can register for yourself or groups of travelers. And if you’re going on a cruise or planning to visit several countries on the same trip, you can also register for multiple countries.

In addition to signing up for ROCA, Canadians are being urged to do the following:

Head to the registration page for more information. Will you be using this service the next time you travel abroad?

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The Genius Hack For Unclogging Ears After Your Flight

By Shelly Abramovich

We’ve all been there — after a long flight, we disembark, feeling the sensation of pressure and stuffiness in our ears. For many, this sensation quickly fades; but for others, especially children, the discomfort can linger. Why does this happen, and what’s the best way to tackle it? Let’s uncover the mystery of clogged ears while flying and reveal the genius hack that might be the relief you’re seeking!

First, it’s essential to understand why ears feel blocked during flights. As an aircraft changes altitude during takeoff and landing, the cabin’s air pressure is altered. This leads to a mismatch between the pressure outside the ear and the pressure inside the middle ear. The Eustachian tube, a tiny canal connecting your middle ear to the back of your nose and upper throat, tries to balance this by letting in or out small amounts of air. But sometimes, it doesn’t quite manage, resulting in that familiar, unpleasant feeling.

Before diving into the hack, it’s worth mentioning some other primary remedies. Swallowing and yawning can help open the Eustachian tube, allowing the pressure to balance. When the tube opens, you might hear a “pop” — the sweet sound of relief! Frequent sips of water can also help. Another method is chewing gum — the repetitive jaw movements may release the blockage. Some people also use nasal decongestant sprays or specialized earplugs. However, if these don’t work, and you’re left feeling like you’re underwater, it’s time to bring out the hack.

The balloon trick:

The nifty remedy for post-flight ear blockages is none other than the unassuming deflated balloon. This technique, while particularly beneficial for kids, is equally advantageous for adults. Here’s how it works: First, always keep a small deflated balloon in your carry-on. After your flight, if you notice that uncomfortable ear blockage, resist the urge to simply wait it out. Instead, you can use the balloon to your advantage.

Begin to gently blow into it, taking care not to exert too much effort. The key is to generate enough force to stimulate the Eustachian tube to help equalize the pressure within the ear. You might feel that “pop” in your ear — the familiar and satisfying cue that indicates a clear ear passage.

Lastly, if ear discomfort persists after multiple attempts at relief or lasts for days (or if you’re unsure about any of these techniques), always consult a healthcare professional. In rare cases, persistent ear pain can indicate an infection or other underlying issues that may require medical attention.

Indeed, flying can be a thrilling experience, but for those left with that post-flight ear discomfort, it can be a frustrating end to a journey. With a blend of natural techniques and the genius balloon hack, travelers can ensure they land to their destination feeling fresh — and not the nagging feeling of clogged ears. As you take to the skies, remember these tips, ensuring not only memorable trips but also comfortable landings.

 

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Celebrating Canada Day: Gratitude and Appreciation from Destinations Travel Clinic

As Canada Day approaches, we at Destinations Travel Clinic would like to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the wonderful community that has supported us over the years. It is also a time to reflect on the incredible opportunities and privileges that come with living in this beautiful country. Join us as we celebrate this special day and acknowledge the support of our local family, as well as the countless opportunities Canada has to offer.

Thank You, Our Local Family: Destinations Travel Clinic owes its success and growth to the unwavering support of our local family – our customers, neighbours, and friends. Over the years, you have welcomed us into your lives, entrusted us with your healthcare needs, and embraced our commitment to providing the highest level of care. Your loyalty and patronage have allowed us to thrive and serve the community we hold so dear.

We are honoured to be a part of your healthcare journey, offering personalized services, expert advice, and a warm and friendly environment. We take pride in being your trusted partner, always striving to exceed your expectations. This Canada Day, we extend our sincerest gratitude to each and every one of you for your continued support. We are privileged to serve you and look forward to many more years of caring for our local family.

Canada, a land of vast landscapes and diverse cultures, offers its citizens an abundance of opportunities and privileges. From breathtaking natural beauty to world-class healthcare and education systems, we are truly blessed to call this country home.

As we celebrate Canada Day, let us not forget the countless opportunities that have been provided to us. Whether it is the freedom to pursue our passions, access to quality healthcare, or the chance to build a prosperous future, Canada has continuously offered its residents a platform to thrive and succeed.

 

Happy Canada Day to all!

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U.S. approves 1st vaccine for RSV after decades of attempts

The U.S. approved the first vaccine for RSV on Wednesday, shots to protect older adults against a respiratory virus that’s most notorious for attacking babies but endangers their grandparents, too.

The Food and Drug Administration decision makes GSK’s shot, called Arexvy, the first of several potential vaccines in the pipeline for RSV to be licensed anywhere.

The move sets the stage for adults 60 and older to get vaccinated this fall — but first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide if every senior really needs RSV protection or only those considered at high risk from the respiratory syncytial virus. CDC’s advisers will debate that question in June.

 

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Which animal kills the most people every year?

Mosquitos sniffing out humans

Of all the creatures on Earth, one insect is responsible for the most human deaths.

The animal kingdom is full of deadly weapons. A lion’s teeth can rip apart flesh with ferocious intensity, rattlesnakes can inject toxins into the bloodstream and hippos can kill you with their powerful jaws.

These are just a few examples of deadly creatures. But which animal kills the most humans?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(opens in new tab) (CDC), the “world’s deadliest animal” is the mosquito, which by some estimates, kills 500,000(opens in new tab) to more than a million(opens in new tab) people per year.

 

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National Immunization Awareness Week

National Immunization Awareness Week (NIAW) is an annual event held in the last
week of April to highlight and recognize the importance of immunization. This year,
Canada’s NIAW – from 24 to 30 April 2023 – coincides with Vaccination Week in the
Americas and World Immunization Week.
Theme: Let’s catch up with confidence
#NIAW2023 #VaccinesWork #GetImmunized

Over the past few years, many of us missed out on seeing the people we love and
partaking in the activities we enjoy, in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to
protect ourselves and others. We stayed at home, only went out when we had to,
connected with loved ones online or over the phone, and cut back on social gatherings
in our communities. It was not easy. Another thing that was not easy during this
time was staying up to date on routine immunizations. In several places, routine
immunization programs came to a grinding halt, and many people were unable to
receive the vaccines they needed. This has not only put people behind in their routine
immunizations, but has also left the door open for a resurgence of vaccine-preventable
diseases, such as measles and polio. As we continue to live in our ‘new normal’, we are
regaining the opportunity to catch up with friends and family, catch up on the hobbies
we love, and catch up on the vaccines we missed. We want everyone to be able to
catch up with confidence, knowing they are safe and protected against vaccine-
preventable diseases.

 

World Immunization Week 2023 – 24 to 30 April

World Immunization Week, celebrated in the last week of April, aims to highlight the
collective action needed to protect people from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Under the banner of ‘The Big Catch-Up’, WHO is working with partners to support
countries to get back on track to ensure more people are protected from preventable

diseases.

We need to act now to catch-up the millions of children who missed out on vaccines
during the pandemic, restore essential immunization coverage to at least 2019 levels and strengthen primary health care to deliver immunization.

The ultimate goal of World Immunization Week is for more children, adults – and their
communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, allowing them to live
happier, healthier lives.

Learn about Immunization

Immunization is one of the most important and cost-effective public health innovations.
In Canada, immunization has saved more lives than any other health intervention, and
has contributed to the reduction in morbidity and mortality in adults, children and other
vulnerable populations. Without immunizations, we can expect to see serious outbreaks
of many diseases that we are now protected against.
Immunization doesn’t just protect the people who get immunized – it protects those
around them too. When a majority of the people in a community are immunized against
a disease, it greatly reduces the chances of that disease spreading in the community,
protecting people such as infants who are too young to be immunized and those who
are not able to get immunized due to medical reasons.

There are many resources available to you to learn about vaccines and immunization.
Immunize Canada has gathered resources from trusted sources and collected them
under headings on the left of your screen. If you cannot find what you are looking
for, contact us, or contact your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or local public health office.
You will find downloadable resources on this page of our website.

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