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FAQ

How to keep healthy when travelling in Indonesia?

Page last updated 13 November 2018

The standard of healthcare facilities in Indonesia vary quite a bit to what we have here in Australia, so it is important you a prepared before heading off on your trip.  

Before travelling 

  • Register your trip with Smart Traveller 
  • Make sure you have enough of your regular prescription medicines;Ensure you’re up-to-date with your routine vaccinations 
  • Take out travel insurance - to cover you and your family for medical and other costs resulting from unexpected incidents and accidents
  • Put together a travel kit with medication for pain, diarrhoeal medicine, oral rehydration salts, antiseptic lotion or ointment, adhesive bandages and other wound dressings, insect repellent, sunscreen, latex gloves, thermometer, motion sickness medicine, water purification tablets and compression stockings

During travel 

  • The tap water is Indonesia is not safe to drink. 
  • Only drink bottled or filtered water and check the seal on water bottles (some stores sell boiled water in recycled bottles). Avoid ice in your drinks, and check that salad and fruit have been washed with filtered water prior to eating. 
  • Drink spiking/poisoning from alcoholic drinks is common in parts of Indonesia. Alcoholic drinks have been known to have been contaminated with harmful substances (e.g. methanol). To protect yourself from poisoning, never leave your drink unattended while you are out, avoid home-made alcoholic drinks and drink only at reputable, licensed premises. 
  • Traveller's diarrhoea is common in Indonesia.  Important ways to prevent traveller's diarrhoea include:
    • ensure you wash your hands regularly.
    • where possible opt for fully cooked fresh food and only eat fruit that you peel yourself.
  • Avoid mosquito bites, as you may be at risk of contracting illnesses such as malaria. Malaria transmitting mosquitoes bite predominantly between dusk and dawn. 
    There is no vaccination for malaria available in Australia. Preventative medication is available and needs to be taken before, during and after visiting the area where malaria occurs. 
    Other mosquito borne illnesses which travellers need to be concerned about include dengue, zika, and Japanese encephalitis. 
  • Rabies is a deadly disease and considered a risk in Indonesia, particularly in Bali. It is spread by the bite, lick or scratch of an infected animal, such as a dog or a monkey. Avoid close contact with wold and domestic animals, this is especially important for children. Do not carry food around, or feed/play with monkeys or other animals. Vaccinations for rabies are available– your doctor can advise whether vaccinations are required for your trip. 
  • Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.
  • Diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B can also be spread through fluids such as blood and semen. 
    To protect yourself, do not inject drugs, do not share needles or devices that can break the skin including those used for tattooing, piercings or acupuncture. Vaccinations are available for hepatitis B. 
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Sources & Citations

  1. Travel Doctor. Bali. Available at: https://www.traveldoctor.com.au/destinations/bali [accessed 18 May 2018].
  2. Australian Government. Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Indonesia. Available at: http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/asia/south-east/pages/indonesia.aspx#health [accessed 18 May 2018].
  3. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Country Health Advice, Indonesia. General Health Risks: Malaria. Available at: https://www.iamat.org/country/indonesia/risk/malaria [accessed 18 May 2018].
  4. International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. Country Health Advice, Indonesia. General Health Risks: Traveller’s Diarrhea. Available at: https://www.iamat.org/country/indonesia/risk/traveller-s-diarrhea [accessed 18 May 2018].
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers’ Health. Rabies in Bali, Indonesia. Available at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/rabies-bali-indonesia2008 [accessed 18 May 2018].

SPANZ.STAMA.18.04.0148a - Date of preparation July 2018