New Zealand

Article

07. 02. 2016

Our dermatologist, MUDr. Daniela Vaňousová, Ph.D., underwent a six-month internship in New Zealand. As a result, she brought back valuable information concerning the detection and treatment of skin cancer which she will use to better treat patients at CMC. In addition to this, she recorded various different insights she gained throughout her stay in this beautiful country, compiling articles which we will gradually present to you as part of a series.

First of all, it would be best to describe New Zealand.

New Zealand or Aotearoa in Maori is a country located in the southern hemisphere in the southwestern part of the Pacific region. It lies approximately 2,000 kilometers from its closest neighbor, Australia. By air, the distance from the Czech Republic to Australia is 17,850 kilometers and the journey from Prague to Auckland takes a minimum of 24 hours.

New Zealand is composed of two islands, the North Island and the South Island. The total area of the entire country is smaller than Japan and is inhabited by approximately 4.4 million people, compared to 127.3 million in Japan. The majority of the population (2.8 million) lives on the North Island. Out of the population of the North Island, 1.3 million live in New Zealand’s largest cosmopolitan city – Auckland. Wellington which is a much smaller city is the capital city of the country and is located in the southern part of the North Island. New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the monarch. The official language is not just English, but also Maori which is the language of the indigenous Maori population. The currency of the country is the New Zealand dollar.

New Zealand has both temperate oceanic as well as a subtropical climates in the northern part of the country. Both islands are characterized by significant rains which are very heavy particularly on the West Coast and the South Island. In winter months, the same applies to the North Island. When compared to the northern hemisphere, seasons are actually reversed. The time difference between the Czech Republic and New Zealand is +12 hours.

While the North Island is characterized by lowlands and a unique hilly landscape, the South Island is synonymous with beautiful and rugged nature dominated by the Southern Alps.

What are the greatest health risks to visitors and inhabitants of New Zealand?

The most significant health problem for visitors of New Zealand is not posed by snakes, scorpions or sharks which are dangers associated with Australia. The greatest health risk is associated with the sun which has the strongest UV radiation in this part of the world. Yet another health risk, especially for adventurous travelers is represented by infections caused by the Giardia (flagellated protozoan parasites). Infection occurs after drinking contaminated water from rivers or lakes. The infection becomes apparent when severe intestinal complications occur.

The primary cause of many health problems remains to be overall carelessness and underestimating natural conditions during the many outdoor activities that New Zealand can offer, particularly on the sparsely populated South Island.

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