What happens if you get sick in Nepal and what to do?
You are always exposed to some risk of getting sick when travelling in a developing country. The chances are heightened even more so trekking at higher elevation where hygiene is less managed and lower oxygen levels reduce resistance to fight infections. It is crucial to have a plan in place for it and when that happens. Falling ill generally can be inconvenience, but if you fall seriously ill, it can be downright frightful. Here we have listed five things you can do if you fall victim to health issues while in Nepal.
First aid kit
Majority of medical issues can be fixed easily with a first aid kit. However, many travelers don’t keep it handy. The significance of first aid kit augments when you are travelling in faraway and remote places with little to no access to health services. A small injury can easily become graver if you are having to track down appropriate medicine or treatment at last minute. Keep a small kit stocked with band-aids, painkillers, and antibiotic ointments. It is also very helpful to keep cold and flu medication on hand in case you need it.
Seek treatments at nearby hospital
While majority of villages have to make do with small clinics and health posts, towns and cities are dotted with big and small hospitals alike. Every district headquarter has at least one hospital that offers emergency services among other. If need arises, you can be easily taken to a hospital for a thorough treatment. For more serious accidents or illness, you can be easily flown back to the capital on a helicopter.
Himalayan Rescue Association
If you need health assistance while travelling to the Everest and Annapurna region, which happen to be the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal, you can visit Himalayan Rescue Association’s health posts at Pheriche and Manang respectively. You can visit HRA for a consultation with some western-trained doctors who will further suggest you on your treatment. A wide number of illness and injuries that occur at mountains can be easily treated at these health posts.
Consult the embassy or consulate
In case of a serious medical situation, you can contact your country’s embassy or consulate through local administrative channel. The embassy will arrange for immediate medical care, in case you need it. They can also wire over some money and inform your friends and family. However, bear in mind, while the embassy will help arrange all medical care, the bill will still be your responsibility to pay.
Seek local care
The local doctors and pharmacists have relatively higher expertise in treating common injuries and illnesses sustained where they live. They are well acquainted with the common threats to visitors, whether it’s a sunburn, a fall or trip, or altitude sickness and can treat it accordingly.
Take preventive measures
Last but not the least. Illnesses abroad often happen because travelers are on a different routine. You can prevent several sicknesses while travelling by just going an extra mile while taking care of yourself and those you are traveling with. Make sure to drink a lot of water, take enough rest and acclimatize properly, use sunscreen religiously, and avoid eating too much, too little, or unhygienic food.