MEDICAL PREPARATION – A JUNGLE GUIDE

EVENT DOCTOR’S ADVICE (Dr Shanranjit Singh Boparoy).

(Dr Sharanjit is among the pioneer group of officials of the Rainforest Challenge. He made his debut as event doctor in 1997 and is also known as “Flying Doctor.” His passion for this off-road sport remains undiminished through the years in spite of his busy schedule. He is a party to the many adventures in the jungle with his trusted Land Cruiser II SWB; and has been to some of the most challenging trails in the Twilight Zone, from Johor to Terengganu. And in the course of his involvement, he has accumulated a vast experience in dispensing “medical care in the wild.”).

Before arrival in Malaysia, all participants should consult their own doctors and get the following vaccinations :-

1.  Tetanus Toxoid (injection)
2.  Hepatitis A & B immunization (Twinrix)

They should also start their malaria prophylaxix now – chloroquine 2 tabs (500mg) weekly for four weeks or Lariarn weekly for 4 weeks.

Medicine which would be useful to bring along :-
Paracetamol – For fever and pain (analgesia)
Voltaren – Pain (anti inflammatory)
Piriton – Allergies (anti histamine)
Clarityne – Flu (non sedating antihistamine)
Dequadin lozenges – Sore throat
Dramine – Vomiting (anti emetic)
Imodium – Diarrhea
O.R.S – Dehydration (oral re-hydration salt)
Calamine lotion – Rashes
Voltaren gel – Pain relief (topical)
Povidone or bacroban ointment – Antiseptic for cuts and grazes
Band aid, bandages, gauze and plaster
Insect repellant containing D.E.E.T
Betnovate cream for allergies due to insect bites

They should also consult their own doctors and bring along a good broad spectrum of antibiotic, for example, Augumentin 625mg to be taken 2 times daily for 5 days.

The reason for this “extensive” list? Well, there are about more than 300 participants who will be spread all over the place and you may not be able to get to the event doctor or paramedic for a minor problem. The medical support would also appreciate participants taking care of themselves for minor problems, as we ourselves will be in the thick of the action, so to say. I think it is very “inconsiderate” for any one to go up to the doctor for a handy-plast or panadol!!

I rate insect repellant, oral rehydration salts, panadol and betnovate cream as essential to bring along and of course, the handy plaster.

Should anyone suffer from any illness (example : diabetes and hyper tension) they should bring along adequate support for their medication as well as advise the medical team of their condition well before they arrive in Kuala Lumpur.

For emergencies and illness of a more serious nature during the event, the medical team will be on standby at all times to assist and get the situation under control.

From my own observation through the years, I would also like to point out the following : -

1.   As the days go by in the Rainforest Challenge, I noticed that participants tire mentally. Maybe it is the sleep deprivation or extreme weather or the tough terrain or a combination of all. So, remember that “temperament, self control and mental discipline are even more important than mere physical prowess.”

2.  In the “heat of the moment,” safety sometimes seems to get compromised. We have seen participants hurt by snapping cables, hit by log bridge building and motor vehicle accidents, luckily all of them without causing serious injuries. The doctor and his team can only take care of minor emergencies, but certainly not tackle any major ones. So, practice prudence at all times.

3.  Make sure you take care of your nutrition, drink a lot of water so that you do not get dehydrated and get adequate sleep.

4.  Have your own “first-aid-kit” handy at all times.

5.  Avoid injury to yourself at all times either during the journey or at campsite. Carelessness can cause untold misery in the jungle for you and cause inconvenience to the others.

6.  Take extra care of your vehicle to ensure completing the event without major damages, it will bring you out of the jungle.

 

Be forewarned.  Mother Nature does not respect our timing and programme.   Event schedule subject to changes.

 

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