Staying healthy in Indonesia isn’t always easy. Here are a few general tips, but before you go check the recommended Vaccinations at the Travellers Medical & Vaccination Centre (TMVC) website www.traveldoctor.com.au
Never, ever, drink tap water. It must be boiled or purified first. Bottled drinking water is available in most towns. You should even brush your teeth with bottled water. Because it’s so hot, you’ll perspire all day and all night, so you need to be constantly aware of preventing dehydration. Don’t wait till you feel thirsty, because some doctors say thirst is a sign damage has already been done. Everywhere you go, always carry a bottle of water to sip continually. Drink up especially before and after surfing. Do not swim in fresh water rivers as they may carry intestinal worms or bacteria quite similar to cholera. If you fall into a creek, don’t swallow.
The biggest danger in Indonesia is the traffic. Of the 1.2 Million Australians who visit Indonesia each year, around 60,000 end up needing some kind of Hospital medical care, mostly because of motorbike accidents. If you have an accident, call Bali International Medical Centre in Kuta (BIMC phone 761 263) which has excellent modern medical facilities. If you need to go to the public hospital, don’t freak out, you just need to remember to be well insured and pay in advance to get the best possible private patient treatment. Whatever you do, do not stay in the crowded public ward trying to save money. That’s inviting disaster!
Most tourist area restaurants serve good healthy food. However, in remote areas just remember “boil it, cook it, peel it - or forget it!” Avoid salads as raw vegetables might be washed in unboiled water. Avoid meat from roadside foodcarts. Avoid food left out in unrefrigerated display cases (especially pizza). Don’t chance raw fish or raw eggs. Most people really get “Bali Belly” because they forget to wash their hands before eating, drink too many fruit juices, eat too much chilli, or don’t drink enough water. Wash your Hands more often than usual, and always before eating.
We recommend you get an online Travel Health Report from www.traveldoctor.com.au for the latest recommended Vaccinations, but as a minimum get shots for Tetanus, Hepatitis, Typhoid, Polio. Some animals in Indonesia carry the deadly rabies disease, so keep away from monkeys and especially from mangey dogs. If bitten, don’t panic, just wash in soap and water and then see a doctor for a rabies test. STDs are far too common in Bali’s sex workers now. There is still no cure for AIDS, so always use a condom. Bring plenty from home as the local ones tend to break.