Health in Bhutan is one of government’s highest preferences in terms of development and modernization. The royal government ensures a safe and healthy environment and provides free access to basic public health services to all its citizens. There are about 32 hospitals across Bhutan and each district, out of the 20 districts, has at least one hospital. Each district in the country has a number of smaller medical facilities as well. The widespread health concerns of Bhutan are diarrhea and pneumonia among children under 5, skin infections, conjunctivitis, hypertension, and intestinal worms. Among the less widespread diseases are diabetes, alcohol related liver disease, and cancer.
The government of Bhutan has maintained a system of universal health care for its citizens. However, the number of hospitals in the country is limited and some diseases like cancer cannot be treated within the country. Patients who are unable to be treated in Bhutan are usually taken to hospitals in India and their treatment cost is paid by the government.
Some vaccines are required when traveling to Bhutan although immunizations in general, may not be needed. Depending on what time of the year you will be traveling to Bhutan, certain vaccinations or medications can be suggested as preventive measures. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccines for Bhutan travel: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Meningitis, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), Chickenpox, Shingles, Pneumonia, and Influenza.
Japanese Encephalitis is a severe threat in Bhutan. Just a single bite can bring down your entire trip. Dengue is also quite common in Bhutan during monsoon and summer seasons. Although vaccination is not required, mosquito repellants and netting can help protect against both Japanese Encephalitis and Dengue. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required by all travelers coming from an infected country. Meningitis is a periodic risk, so vaccination is advised. Giardiasis is common and tuberculosis exists in Bhutan. Rabies is also present. So, those visitors who are at high risk, it is safe if you consider vaccination before coming to Bhutan. For more details on vaccination requirement, you may visit the CDC website:
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