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How to keep healthy when travelling in Malaysia?

Page last updated 29 April 2020

The standard of healthcare facilities in Malaysia varies from place to place, however, there are good clinics and international-standard hospitals in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. It is important you a prepared before heading off on your trip.  

See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before departure to discuss your travel health requirements.

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 paracetamol and aspirin, 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 Malaysia is not safe to drink. It is advised that you drink bottled or filtered water only and check the plastic seal on bottled water is intact. Avoid adding ice to your drinks, and check that salad and fruit have been washed with filtered water prior to consumption. 
  • Traveller's diarrhoea is common in Malaysia. Important ways to prevent traveller's diarrhoea include:
    • ensure you wash your hands with soap and water regularly.
    • Where possible, opt for fully cooked fresh food and only eat fruit that you peel yourself. 
  • Avoid mosquito bites, as malaria is considered a risk to some travellers in Malaysia, particularly those visiting rural areas. Speak with your healthcare professional about whether or not you might need medication for malaria, 8 weeks prior to your departure. You can further protect yourself with insect repellent, wearing clothes that cover your arms and legs, and staying in accommodation that has air conditioning, fly nets or screened windows provided.
  • Rabies is a deadly disease and considered a risk in Malaysia. It is spread by the bite, lick or scratch of an infected animal, such as a dog or a monkey.  Avoid close contact with wild and domestic animals, this is especially important for children. Do not feed or 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, herpes, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV. 
  • 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

8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers’ Health Malaysia - Traveler View. Available at: (accessed 3 April 2020).

10. Smartraveller. Malaysia Travel advice and safety. Available at: (accessed 23 March 2020). 

11. Australian Government, Department of Health. The Australian Immunisation Handbook. Vaccination for international travellers. Available at: (accessed 3 April 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0139(1)a - Date of preparation April 2020