Travel General information
Travel Health issues and the quality of medical facilities varying enormously all across Indonesia. When traveling in Indonesia, especially in remote areas, be sure to pack a basic first aid including:
- General and individually packed medications
- If you suffer from a heart condition bring, bring your medical history and a copy of your EKG
- Bring two sets of prescription glasses and prescription medicine, stored in two locations, to keep your holiday on track in case luggage goes missing
- Before you travel, take out travel insurance
- Understand the limitations of your coverage, what is covered and where to call in case of an emergency. Does your insurance cover cancellation and urgent return in the event of the death of an immediate family member
- Make sure that your insurance covers overseas health costs
- Get clarification on your insurance coverage for any “existing” medical conditions
Vaccinations Before Travel
Before you travel get a medical check-up, ideally from a physician experienced in tropical medicine. Your doctor will give you valuable advice on what vaccinations you’ll need which will depend on your history of past vaccinations, the planned duration of travel, and the specific activities scheduled for your holiday. Be sure to visit your doctor at least 4-8 weeks before departure as some vaccinations are not immediately effective. Ask your doctor to give you an International Vaccination Card, known as a yellow book. WHO recommends the following vaccination for Southeast Asia: adult diphtheria and tetanus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella, polio, typhoid, varicella, meningitis, rabies, and tuberculosis.
First aid kit
A basic first aid kit should contain aspirin, antihistamine, an anti-diarrhea medication, disinfectants, multi-functional antibiotic, fungicide, antibiotic eyewash, emergency medicine against malaria, and sunscreen. For injuries make sure the first aid kit includes various sized band-aids, sterilize gauze, surgical tape, and an elastic bandage for sprains. Don’t forget to include tweezers, scissors, needles, and safety pins.
Some parts of Indonesia, particularly cities and resorts areas, are at minimal risk of malarial infections. Malaria prophylactics are recommended for the islands east of Lombok for the provinces of West and East Nusa Tenggara. In taking an anti-malarial, be aware of the side effects which vary. When traveling protect yourself with repellents, mosquito nets, and long-sleeved shirts and rousers, especially at dusk.
Remember that malaria can be fatal.
Malaria is caused by a parasite transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The most significant symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, diarrhea, coughs and chills. Diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory analysis of a blood sample.
Two strategies should be employed to prevent malaria: mosquito avoidance and anti-malaria medications. Mosquito prevention:
- Use a good quality mosquito repellent
- Sleep under mosquito nets impregnated with Permethrin
- Impregnate clothing with Permethrin when traveling in high-risk areas
- Wear long sleeved shirts and long trousers in light colors
- Use mosquito coils
- Spray your room with insect repellent before going out for your evening meal.
Dengue Fever is also transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no known vaccine or prophylactic medicine available for this mosquito-borne disease, it can only be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites.
This potentially fatal disease is spread through the bite or saliva of an infected animal, such as a dog or monkey. If possible, avoid any close contact with these animals. If bitten, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Rabies vaccination will not immunize you from the disease but will give you more time to secure the required treatment.
Hygiene issues most cases of stomach upset are attributed to un-adapted stomach flora. To stay healthy and enjoy your holiday, take the following practical precautions:
- Drink only boiled water
- Never drink tap water
- Use “Aqua” – a national brand of bottled water, wherever possible
- Avoid ice water
- Eat only boiled, peeled or cooked vegetables and fruits
- Always dine in restaurants offering freshly cooked-food or, alternatively, find a busy restaurant with a high turn-over of customers