Medical Information for Haiti
Current information regarding health needs while in Haiti can be found at the CDC website under Travelers’ Health http://www.cdc.gov/
- Vaccines: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies.
- Routine Vaccines: These ones most people have already had. Just check your shot records. influenza, varicella, polio. MMR, DTP.
- Anti-malaria pills: chloroquine phosphate (Aralen) one pill once a week. Start 1 week before arrival in Haiti and continue for 4 weeks after. Has less severe side effects than other anti-malaria pills and is the drug recommended for Haiti.
- Mosquito spray: Deet spray (up to 50%), permethrin spray (made for clothing but can spray in the room to keep mosquitoes away).
- Antibiotic: You may also talk to your doctor about giving you a prescription for an antibiotic in case you get sick.
Other Tips & Advice:
- Get started on vaccines and medical preparation ASAP because some vaccines take a few weeks to be activated.
- If traveling from different country than the United States, other vaccinations may be necessary.
- For anyone traveling with children, chronic conditions, pregnant, or other special population refer to your doctor for guidance.
- Travel Clinics provide a wealth of information and services for someone preparing to travel abroad.
How to stay healthy:
- Don’t drink the local water. This includes ice from the faucet and/or well.
- Only drink bottled water or treated water.
- Eat fully-cooked foods only. Fruits and veggies that have a skin and can be peeled off or are rinsed with clean water are normally good. Pasteurized milk products are also fine.
- Wash hands frequently (before/after food prep, after going to the bathroom, before eating, etc). Carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer on your person is a good idea.
- Don’t touch your face with unclean hands
- Use bug spray to prevent bug bites
- Don’t play with animals
- Avoid contact with people that are sick
- Use common sense.
Packing Medical supplies
- Prescriptions (best to have in carry-on in the event luggage is lost)
- Keep all your personal prescription medications in their original containers (copies of all prescriptions should be carried, including the generic names for medications.) Packing more than you will need is a good practice.
- A note from the prescribing physician on letterhead stationery is needed for controlled substances and injectable medications (Epipen, insulin, diabetes testing supplies etc.)
- Anti-malaria medications
- Prescription for Travelers’ diarrhea antibiotic
First Aid Kit
- Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication (e.g., bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide)
- Antihistamine (Benadryl)
- Decongestant, alone or in combination with antihistamine
- Anti-motion sickness medication
- Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other similar medication for pain or fever (Tylenol, Motrin, etc.)
- Cough suppressant/expectorant
- Cough drops
- Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams (Neosporin)
- 1% hydrocortisone cream
- Band-aids, gauze, ace wrap, antiseptic to clean wounds, tweez-ers, scissors, cotton-tipped applicators, disposable gloves, etc
Other Important Items
- Insect repellent containing DEET (up to 50%)
- Sunscreen (preferably SPF 15 or greater)
- Aloe gel for sunburns
- Digital thermometer
- Oral rehydration solution packets (can also use Gatorade)
- Antibacterial hand wipes or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol
- Lubricating eye drops
- Glasses/contacts (extra pair if something happens to first)
- First aid quick reference card
- Copy of health insurance information and traveler’s insurance information
- Carry a contact card containing the street addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of the following:
- Family member or close contact remaining in the United States
- Health care provider(s) at home
- Lodging at your destination
- Hospitals or clinics (including emergency services) in your destination
- U.S. embassy or consulate in the destination country or countries