What are the health risks that exist in India? What are the formalities to fill in before traveling? Find out in this article.
Health care will probably be one of your main concerns if you are planning to move to India. Indeed, India is well-known for its lack of infrastructure and poor hygiene, like many Asian countries. However, you can easily access to health care services almost everywhere in the country thanks to several public hospitals and private clinics.
It is recommended that you subscribe to a health insurance before traveling to India. This should cover the costs for all health care services received in India, whether you have attended a public or private hospital, a clinic or a private medical cabinet. To obtain a quote, please click here.
Health care system
Although India is deemed to be one of the world's biggest economies, with a population of more than 1,25 billion inhabitants, India has a backward health care system. Indeed, only one percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is allocated to the Ministry of Health. Hence, you are more likely to find private hospitals across the country, which means that health care services are charged both to locals and expatriates.
On the other hand, you can find many private clinics and health cabinets in most major cities. However, in villages, you could come across imposters posing as doctors and giving medication without prescription. In fact, the country counts at least a million of non-accredited health care centers and unqualified doctors, which are a real threat to public health.
To date, there is no compulsory vaccination for foreigners traveling to India. However, you are advised to be vaccinated against the following diseases: diphtheria, tuberculosis, tetanus, polio, typhoid and viral hepatitis A and B. Foreigners coming from Latin America, Africa and Papua New Guinea have to be vaccinated against yellow fever. In all cases, you are required to be in possession of a health certificate stating that you are not suffering from any communicable disease, including HIV, on your arrival in India.
If you are staying in New Delhi, you are advised to get vaccinated against meningitis and even against rage if you intend to make a long stay there.
Major Indian cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Patna, etc, are highly polluted. This can occasion irritation, inflammation of your respiratory tracks and pain, as well as eye irritation, especially for children and the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases. You are therefore advised to avoid polluted areas as much as you can and to keep your home's doors and windows shut. Do not hesitate to pay a visit to the doctor in case of need.
Several contagious diseases such as H1N1, chikungunya, tuberculosis, dengue, etc, are also present in several regions, especially in city outskirts and villages. Note that dengue and chikungunya, in particular, are transmitted through mosquito bites. You are hence advised to see a doctor in case of symptoms such as fever and pain. In general, you should was your hands regularly with soap and water of with a sanitizer. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes after sneezing or couching.
Make sure to be in possession of mosquito repellents when traveling. You are also advised to to install electric diffusers and mosquito nets at home and to wear clothes with long sleeves and covering your legs as well.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or with anti microbial gels or solutions.
Avoid drinking tap water. Sealed mineral water bottles are safer.
Do not hesitate to wear masks when passing through highly polluted regions, especially if you are suffering from chronicle diseases.
Avoid fruit juices, tea and junk food which are sold in the streets.
Never caress stray animals, especially dogs.
When preparing your meat or seafood meals, make sure that these have been cooked properly before consumption.