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Myanmar Travel Advice: Emergencies

Health Considerations

Since Myanmar is a tropical country, certain unique health problems must be considered. Check with your own health department before you leave home. There is malaria in Myanmar. There are two types of treatment; one preventive (prophylaxis) and one curative (emergency medication). There are conflicting views about malaria treatment; thus consult a travel clinics doctor. Still the best way to avoid malaria is to avoid mosquito's: Wear long sleeves and long trousers, use effective repellent and bring a mosquito net. The risk of malaria depends on the season and the activities you plan on doing. While cities seem to be free of malaria, more malaria cases are reported in the coastal regions.

Bottled water is widely available and you are well advised to drink only this type. Tap water is rarely if ever clean enough for Western stomachs. All water served in hotels, guest houses, restaurants will be bottled. If in doubt, ask.

Health care in Myanmar is difficult to obtain. You should bring with you antibiotics, diarrhea treatment, mosquito repellent and malaria emergency medication. Any prescription medicine, of course, should be brought from home whenever possible. There are hospitals and clinics in the major cities of course. However, much of their equipment was bought decades ago and has not been updated. Myanmar remains a backwards country (which is one of her attractions).

More info: World Health Organization - Myanmar Section on local health situation and special care for travelers.