Vietnam Medical Travel Information

Medical Facilities and Health Information Medical facilities in Vietnam do not meet international standards and frequently lack medicines and supplies. Medical personnel in Vietnam, particularly outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, may speak little or no English. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. International health clinics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can provide acceptable care for minor illnesses and injuries, but more serious problems will often require medical evacuation to Bangkok or Singapore. Although you can purchase many medications at pharmacies without having a prescription, some common U.S. medications are not available in Vietnam. You should bring adequate supplies of medications for the duration of your stay in Vietnam. You may obtain lists of local English-speaking physicians from the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U. S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Neither the Embassy nor the Consulate may recommend specific medical practitioners or hospitals. Emergency medical response services are generally unresponsive, unreliable, or completely unavailable.

Be cautious about drinking non-bottled water and about using ice cubes in drinks. You may wish to drink only bottled or canned beverages or beverages that have been boiled (such as hot tea and coffee).

In July 2012, the Government of Vietnam reported outbreaks of rabies in the northern mountainous provinces of Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Lao Cai (Sapa) and Yen Bai. Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The most important global source of rabies in humans is from uncontrolled rabies in dogs. In Vietnam, monkeys also pose a risk. Children are often at greatest risk from rabies. They are more likely to be bitten by rabid animals, and are also more likely to be severely exposed through multiple bites in high-risk sites on the body. Travelers in Vietnam should exercise caution around unfamiliar animals and seek immediate medical attention if bitten.

Avian influenza (H5N1) continues to be a concern in Vietnam. In Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries affected by avian influenza, you should avoid poultry farms, contact with animals in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals.
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 93.6%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 5%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 98.2%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.4%
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 2.2
People Living with HIV/AIDS 280,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 1.22
Diseases - note highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 25%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 93.1%
Sanitation Facitlity Access - percent of rural population improved 66.6%
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne Disease (s) dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis

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2019 edition