HEALTH TRAVEL ADVISORY TO INDIA


India is known as a global destination for medical and health tourism. The Government of India assures that all participants at the Annual Meetings will have access to excellent health–care systems. More information on health may be accessed at http://mohfw.gov.in/index.php.

Below is a summary health advisory to guide preparations for the travel.

As a general rule before all travel, you must:

  • Obtain an international vaccination booklet; and make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
  • Make a visit to your health-care provider at least 4 weeks before your journey for advice on travel vaccines, travel health and safety. This is especially relevant if you are on continuous treatment, in order to determine what you will need based on your health condition, your destination and activities at your destination.

Vaccine-preventable Diseases

Generally, the following vaccines are recommended for all adults, even if you do not travel frequently. A traveler who is not vaccinated has an increased risk of contracting diseases that are dangerous and can be life-threatening. Please visit your health care provider and update your vaccination status.

Vaccinations

Yellow fever vaccine is mandatory for travelers from yellow fever endemic countries, particularly, west, east and southern Africa.  Travelers are advised to get the vaccination at least ten (10) days before travelling to India.  They are required to show proof of vaccination to immigration officials at the point of entry or report to port health authority.  Any traveler who is not able to show the proof of valid yellow fever vaccination (in original) at the international airport may be quarantined as per Government of India regulations.  Travelers from non-yellow fever endemic countries may transit through countries may require the yellow fever vaccination. All participants are therefore advised to be up-to-date with their yellow fever vaccine.

Other vaccines that are useful to have, depending on individual risk are:

  • Meningitis vaccine: This vaccine contains four strains A+C+Y+W123 and offers protection for three years. Exposure occurs by inhaling bacteria found in the tiny droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes into the air
  • Hepatitis A vaccine: exposure to Hepatitis A can occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water. A single dose of Hepatitis A vaccine protects for six months, whilst a series of two doses will give longer protection for almost 10 years.
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: exposure occurs through contact with contaminated blood or body fluids, and/or materials or unprotected sexual contact. A single Hepatitis B vaccine lasts for six months. Appropriate protection, however, necessitates three monthly doses, for 10 years protection.
  • Typhoid vaccine: Typhoid exposure may occur through ingestion of contaminated food or water. Typhoid vaccine is valid for three years.
  • Tetanus vaccine: Tetanus vaccine is valid for five years and relevant if one engages in activities that may lead to open cuts or wounds such as falls, or motor (and other) accidents.
  • Rabies vaccine: Rabies exposure can occur through animal bites in outdoor activities e.g. cycling, camping, hiking etc. that might bring one into direct contact with biting mammals e.g. cats, dogs & other carnivores.  If one is at risk of animal bites/scratches, they should get pre-exposure vaccinations given in three doses at days 0, 7 and 21. Booster vaccination is done for individuals in the frequent risk group, who should have a serum sample tested for rabies antibody every 2 years. If the blood titer is less than complete neutralization at a 1:5 serum dilution, the person also should receive a single booster dose of vaccine. International travelers fall under infrequent-risk and do not require routine pre-exposure booster doses of the vaccine after completion of the primary pre-exposure vaccination. If you have not had any vaccine due to allergies or other contraindications, be sure to bring an explanatory letter with you from your doctor whenever you travel.

Other Health Information About India:

  • Health care system in India is well developed especially in major cities.
  • Mosquito-borne diseases; Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and Malaria occur during summer and monsoon season.  Take precautions and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
  • If you are travelling from non-malaria areas, it is recommended that you take either of the following malaria prophylaxis namely; Atovaquone plus proguanil (Malarone® and generics); Doxycycline (many brands and generics) or Mefloquine (Lariam® and generics).  It is advisable to apply mosquito repellents especially in the evening when outdoors, and whenever possible, to sleep under an insecticide-treated net.
  • See your health care provider for specific advice on which medication you will use, based on availability in your country of residence and health status. Strictly take the prophylaxis as advised by your health care provider.
  • During the past outbreak of Ebola virus disease, India did not record any case of Ebola, and is free from the disease.  However, travelers to India from Ebola affected countries are requested to disclose information regarding any past infection (including treatment taken) at the point of entry so that appropriate health measures can be taken.
  • Delegates are also advised to take adequate precaution against seasonal flu. For information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) and consult your health care provider before travel.
  • Food and water precaution: travelers have a small risk of developing diarrhea in any country. It is advisable to drink bottled water only, especially on short trips. Always wash your hands with soap before eating, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Tap water in India is unsafe to drink. Drink boiled or bottled water, or carbonated beverages, provided that the seal is intact.
  • Look for bubbles when you open a carbonated beverage - bubbles are evidence that the product has been processed. Bottles are sometimes refilled with tap water and resold, and these products are not safe to drink.
  • Avoid ice because it can be made from unsafe water. Do not open your mouth in the shower.
  • Do not purchase unsealed drinks or ice cream made by street vendors. These may contain untreated tap water and the equipment used may not have been properly cleaned. Coffee and tea made from boiling water are safe to drink, as are beer and wine. It is best to use ultra-heat treated (UHT) or canned milk that has been pasteurized.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands before eating. Always choose fresh food that has been thoroughly cooked and is served hot, since heat destroys most contaminating bacteria. Meat and fish should be "well cooked".
  • Avoid raw foods, shellfish, pre-peeled fruit and salad sold in the open on the streets. Fruit that you wash and peel yourself is safe to eat. Avoid street vendors and market food because the standard of hygiene may be low and food may not be fresh.
  • Although food in larger international hotels is usually safe, follow the basic rules discussed above. In any location, busier restaurants may be safer as they are more likely to serve freshly cooked food.

Emergency Services

All public and private hospitals provide emergency health services. There are private and public ambulance service providers that can be accessed 24 hours a day.

The National emergency numbers are 108 for Health, 100 for Police and 101 for Fire department.  These numbers can be accessed using all the telephone service providers.

Name of the designated hospital: Civil Hospital Asarva Ahmedabad
Name of the designated nodal office:    
Dr. Dinkar Raval, Deputy Director (Epidemics)
Commissionerate of Health, Med. Edu. And Research
Block – 5/3, Dr. Jivraj Mehta Bhavan,Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Mob No. 09909966905
Email ID: dr.dinkar@hotmail.com

Medical Insurance

Travelers are advised to use International travel medical insurance to cater to their medical needs while in India. Select public and private hospitals accept most of the international insurance covers. It is also strongly recommended that participants bring direct contact details for their travel insurance provider in case they are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Other Items to bring with you for any travel

  • The prescription medicines you take every day. Make sure you have enough to last for the full duration of your trip and also the doctor’s prescription. Keep the medication in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage as controlled drugs should carry relevant documentation as proof to customs and port health officials. Follow security guidelines if the medicines are liquids.
  • Small dose of over-the-counter medicine for minor illnesses e.g. aches, mild food poisoning etc.

After your return Home

After returning home, continue to take your malaria prevention medicine as prescribed by your doctor, as most of these drugs will need to be taken for at least one week after leaving India. If you do not feel well, you should see your health care provider immediately and mention that you have recently traveled. Also inform your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal, or if you have had any open wound cuts while travelling.

Further detailed information

Further information on health can be accessed at:  http://mohfw.gov.in/index.php.
International SOS- PRE-TRAVEL HEALTH ADVICE: https://www.internationalsos.com/

  • Click on second top tab from left namely: Member Log in
  • Enter member log in ID: 22BCMA000007
  • Then, on the first menu on left side of the next webpage, select country: INDIA

Navigate the advice options available including medical, travel, security etc.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/india

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