Kathmandu has the best sanitary facilities in the country, but as soon as it leaves the capital, the quality levels of clinics and hospitals decrease. In mountainous areas, there may not even be any, so mountaineers who fall ill in the mountains are often evacuated to Kathmandu, or abroad, if the problem is very serious. You must always have travel insurance that covers hospital expenses and emergency evacuations.
Many of the most popular areas among travelers are remote and inaccessible, so it is advisable to inquire about possible health risks. On trekking routes, it is recommended to bring a kit to treat any symptoms until you reach a point of Medical Tourism in Nepal.
Before leaving for Nepal
Considering the terrain, the potential health risks and the high cost of medical evacuations, it is not advisable to travel to Nepal without proper medical insurance.
No immunization is officially required to enter the country, unless the traveler comes from an area with yellow fever, in which case he must show that he is vaccinated.
It is best to go to the doctor at least six weeks before traveling, because some vaccines require more than one dose at different time intervals. Some vaccines are not recommended in pregnant women or people with allergies.
The vaccines that the traveler must take into consideration are:
Diphtheria and tetanus are usually combined and are highly recommended. After an initial administration of three injections, usually in childhood, reminders are required every 10 years.
Hepatitis A After an initial injection and a reminder at 6 or 12 months, it probably offers immunity for life.
Hepatitis B It consists of three injections, the second after three weeks and one last at 12 months.
Flu It is considered one of the most preventable conditions thanks to its vaccine. It is annual.
Japanese encephalitis It is a viral encephalitis caused by a mosquito (it lives in the Terai and, sometimes, in the valley of Kathmandu), especially during the monsoon (ago-oct ppios). The vaccine consists of three injections within three to four weeks and one of reinforcement at three years. It is only recommended for long stays in the Terai (especially in the west) or the Kathmandu valley.
Meningococcal meningitis Single-dose vaccine with reminder every three or five years; only for individuals exposed to high risk and for residents
Polio Severe disease of easy transmission, still present in Nepal your vaccine is highly recommended. Usually inoculated in childhood and requires a reminder at 10 years.
Recommended rabies for extended stays, especially if you plan to travel to remote areas in Nepal, street dogs and monkeys transmit it. It is strongly recommended to vaccinate children. Vaccination of rabies before traveling involves three injections within 21 to 28 days. If an animal bites or scratches someone vaccinated, it will only need two booster injections, while the unvaccinated ones will have to receive many more. Reminders are usually administered after three years.
Tuberculosis (TB) An endemic disease in Nepal, although it is not usually transmitted to travelers most Western citizens are vaccinated during childhood.
Typhoid fever it is resistant to drugs and is increasingly a problem in Nepal, especially in the Terai. The vaccine (recommended) can be given in a single injection or pills (consult your doctor).
Yellow fever It is not endemic in Nepal and only its vaccine is required if it comes from an infected zone. It confers immunity for 10 years.
First aid kit
The following list includes items that should be part of a basic kit (consult the pharmacist for available brands).
- Aspirin or acetaminophen for pain or fever.
- Anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen) as an analgesic for headaches, muscles and joints, and fever.
- Antibiotics, especially if traveling to isolated areas; In Nepal, they are sold without a prescription, which has created great resistance to some of the most common.
- Promethazine (Fenergan) for the relief of severe nausea.
- Rehydrating solution to avoid dehydration in case of diarrhea; especially important if traveling with children.
- Antihistamines for allergies; for the skin, 1% hydrocortisone cream is recommended.
- Cold, fever and sore throat pills and nasal decongestant.
- Fungicidal cream such as clotrimazole 1% for skin infections by fungi and aphthae.
- Antiseptic (like Betadine) for cuts and scrapes.
- Bandages, plasters, tape, gauze and other types of bandages for wounds.
- Tablets to purify water.
- Scissors, tweezers and an electric thermometer (mercury thermometers are prohibited on airplanes).
- Sterile kit in case you need injections; consults the doctor.
- Pills against kinetic seasickness, such as Biodramina, for long bus trips.
- Diamox (acetazolamide) in pills, for trekkings superior to 3500 m.