Vietnam is located in a sub-tropical part of the world. That causes different conditions of weather and climate compared to your home country. Plus many differences in everyday life like food, quality of air, water… Those make travelers planning to travel Vietnam want to know about health care when traveling Vietnam. Here-under are some basic information to note when you are about to visit this beautiful country.
What to note about health care while traveling Vietnam
Upon checking in Vietnam through customs, no vaccinations are officially required. You will not be asked to show any document of taking vaccinations. But since you are going to a totally different country, travelers are suggested to have up-to-date inoculations for polio, meningitis, tuberculosis, TABT (typhoid, paratyphoid A&B and tetanus), hepatitis A&B, and Japanese encephalitis. Now and then when threats of diseases like Zika, bird flu…are increasing there will be an automatic thermometer placed at the customs when you are checking in. Those with noticeable high temperature could be asked for further health check. That’s for your own health care while traveling Vietnam.
Among many questions about health care while traveling Vietnam, travelers often ask me about malaria. Especially when we visit some countryside or riverways. Summer is the time for mosquitoes, especially in area where waterbodies and bushes are easily found. We all know malaria is a mosquito-borne illness. And it is usually not a problem in big cities since there will be less mosquitoes. And you will sleep in air conditioned rooms where mosquitoes will not be found. But in rural areas like countryside of Mai Chau or Ninh Binh, on river cruises down the Mekong, in mountainous areas… travelers are advised to take caution.
More attention about mosquitoes should be practiced when traveling to those places, especially in the summer. Because summer with high volume of rain is the perfect time for mosquitoes to breed and grow. Use spray and wear long pants and sleeves when doing excursions in the day time. Mosquitoes prefer shades and the darkness and they become super active in the night. Always sleep in an air conditioned room or use mosquito net. Wear long outfits and apply repellent to exposed skin when you are sitting to have dinner outside or going for a walk before bedtime. And when you take malaria table, don’t drink alcohol. That’s an important note for your health care while traveling Vietnam.
Despite my serious attention to my clients’ healthcare, occasionally heath issues happen and we have to see doctors. Since the water supply in Vietnam is totally different compared to home and it is NOT drinkable, even in top hotels. Some still forget and drank some tap water. And sometimes travelers don’t get along to well with the differences of exotic food in Vietnam, especially street food. The most frequent vaccine-preventable infection in travelers is hepatitis A, which is transferred through contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B, transmitted through contact with infected blood or saliva, is of high incidence in Vietnam, and tetanus remains a major concern.
The most common illness for travelers is diarrhea, which can be treated by maintaining a diet of bland food or fluids only. The top tip about health care while traveling Vietnam to avoid this is: always drink bottled water, don’t take ice if not in a good restaurant or hotel, and eat only cooked food.
Some common tips for your health care when traveling Vietnam:
- Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water. And again drink only water bottles.
- Avoid the heat in the midday. It is burning hot around noon in the summer. Better start your tour earlier and do the rest when the sun is about to set. Lots of the walk in cities can be done in the evening when the sun cools down a bit.
- Don’t be too adventurous in food. I know eating street food is one of the best ways to discover the culture. And I agree. But not all street food are for you. Our guides will take you to best places of street food when you can enjoy in peace. Going by yourself? Better eat in a well reputed place and avoid anything uncooked.
- Try not to be too friendly to mosquitoes like I said above.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact these addresses if you have issues of health care while traveling Vietnam:
International SOS Vietnam
Address: 51 Xuan Dieu (behind Fraser Suites) Vietnam, Quảng An, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Tel: +84 4 3934 0666
Fax: +84 4 3934 0556
L’Hôpital Francais de Hanoi
No. 1 Phuong Mai Street, Dong Da District, Ha Noi.
Tel.: 84-4-35771100/ Fax: 84-4-35764443
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org /www.hfh.com.vn
Emergency call: 84-4-35741111 (24 hours 7 days)
Family Medical Practice
Van Phuc Compound, 298 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Phone: (04) 3843 0748
The International SOS Vietnam 24 hour Alarm Center
65 Nguyen Du street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.
24 hour Alarm Center (84) (8) 829 8520
Phone: (84) (8) 829 8424
Fax: (84) (8) 829 8551
6 Nguyen Luong Bang St., Saigon South (Phu Hung), Dist. 7, HCM
Tel: (08) 54 11 33 33 – Fax: (08) 54 11 33 34
24-Hour Accident & Emergency Hotline: Tel: (84-8) 5411 35 00
FV Sai Gon Clinic
2nd Floor, Citilight Tower, 45 Vo Thi Sau St., Dist. 1, HCMC
Tel: (08) 62 90 61 67 – Fax: (08) 62 90 61 68 – Email: email@example.com
Be healthy and enjoy your Vietnam trip!