LAO MEDICAL INFORMATION
It is essential to understand the medical services and health system in the country which you travel in case you get injured and ill. Biig Travel Laos will give you the general Lao Medical Information when travelling Laos.
The health-care delivery system in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is historically a predominantly public system, with government-owned and operated health centres and district and provincial hospitals. The private health sector has emerged recently along with increasing demand for better services; public facilities are perceived as substandard.
Many vaccines are available before coming to Laos, and most all of them are recommended, except for Japanese B Encephalitis, which is extremely rare and basically unknown here. Vaccination is not compulsory and necessary when you travel in Lao, unless you’re planning to have mountain trekking, homestay overnight there, visit jungle areas or stay in swampy areas (such as the Mekong Delta). In addition, Rabies vaccines are an especially good idea for travellers going to rural areas.
Recommended vaccines in Lao Medical Information
As with all travelers, it is important to be immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hepatitis A (food risk), hepatitis B (blood and sexual risk), and measles for children.
In terms of personal exposure risks, typhoid (food risk), rabies (especially children); Japanese encephalitis vaccine are recommended. Moreover, it must also be recommended to travelers with important outdoor activities during periods of virus circulation (overnights under tent, treks in the rice fields, particularly during the monsoon).
Malaria isn’t widespread and only a possibility in more rural areas. Dengue fever, however, affects a notable number of people all around the country. We should all apply all the active preventive measures against mosquito such as: repellents, protective clothing, and mosquito nets. Therefore, they can protect you from other diseases transmitted by other insects, especially dengue.
Stomach bugs tend to be the main culprit causing discomfort for travellers. It’s hard to avoid them entirely, but generally you should remember below things to avoid this disease.
– Do not drink tap water because it is dirty and be careful when taking drinks from strangers at bars, clubs, restaurants
– Avoid consuming food (fish, meat, poultry, and milk) not cooked
– Wash carefully and peal fruit or veggies before eating.
– Check the expiry date on the label of products sold.
– Ensure regular and thorough hand washing before meals.
Some tips to keep in mind
– It’s easy to find pharmacies in Laos and they don’t require a prescription. However, the greatest challenge is usually communicating with the pharmacist. Only a few pharmacies in Vientiane have English-speaking staffs. Therefore, it is always helpful to take a few basic medicines (anti-diarrheal, aspirin…) along.
– If you go to the mountainous areas, you may encounter leeches stuck to your legs. In that case, you should carry a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in your luggage. Because it helps loosen (do not pluck) when they contact with a lit cigarette. Be careful with mosquitoes which cause typhus.
– When you discover jungle areas, do not reach into the rock crevices, as you could meet poisonous snake or scorpion.
– In any circumstance, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor in case of fever. Do wait for medical advice, do not take medicine freely.
– Be careful with medicines which do not have clearly origin, especially the Chinese brands as they are not always laboratory-grade products. Check the packaging carefully if the medication is for a more serious medical condition.
– Travel insurance is a very good idea if you plan to go on a road trip or doing some serious outdoor sports. Most rural areas won’t respond to an insurance card though, so keeping a couple of $100 bills tucked away on your person to get help faster.
Practical Lao Medical Information
In case of serious problems, difficult to solve through your service organization, you can contact the services of the Embassy of your country in Vietnam.
Here are some useful contacts :
Alliance International Medical Centre
Honda Complex, Souphanuvong Road, Ban Wattayyaithong, Sikhottabong district, Vientiane Capital, Lao P.D.R.
Tel: + 856 (0)21 513 095; Emergency Number: + 856 20 5552 9711 and + 66 88 312 5624
Fax: + 856 21 513 096
Australian Embassy Clinic
Km 4, Thadeua Road, Ban Watnak, P.O. Box 292, Vientiane, Lao P.D.R,
Tel: +856 (0) 21353840
Centre Medical de L’Ambassade de France (CMAF) (supported by the French Embassy)
Kouvieng Road, Ban Simuang, Vientiane, Laos, PO Box. 7168
Tel: Office – +856 (0)21 214 150; (0)21 215 713, Emergency 24 hrs: 02056554794
Kamphengmeuang Rd, Ban Donkoi, Sisatthanak District, P.O.Box: 6088, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital
Ban Phoumok, Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang Province, Laos
Tel: +856 (0)71 254 026; (0)71 254025’ (0) 71 254 027
Emergency Telephone: +856 30 200 9379
Bangkok Hospital Group Tramua Care Doctors at Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital
Tel: + 856 20 2864 1240
Tel: +856 20 2864 1248