Being informed is the best defense against disease and
safety risks. We recommend visiting some of the following websites for
health and safety information:
General Health Tips for Volunteer in Nepal
- Drink only bottled or boiled water or carbonated
(bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Tap water should not be considered
safe at the beaches nor fountain drinks and ice cubes. If this is not
possible, make water safer by both filtering through an "absolute 1
micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water.
"Absolute 1 micron filters" are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Buy bottled water from respectable outlets to guard
against upset stomach. Some of the well-known brands are AquaFina and
Himalaya. Ensure the seal of the bottle is intact to avoid purchasing
tap water in a resealed bottle.
- Take care with spicy dishes, especially at the
beginning. Avoid eating food from roadside stalls. Do not eat unpeeled
fruits and avoid fresh salads, especially in small hotels. If volunteers
must eat food at a questionable location, make sure the food is served
- The most common health complaint in any developing
nation is an ailing digestive system. In many cases, the illness may be
attributed merely to a change in diet, but occasional cases of food
poisoning can occur, whereby the symptoms occur very quickly, severely
and explosively. These are seldom serious or extended illnesses, but
medical treatment should be sought if it occurs.
- Always use insect repellent in a mosquito-prone
area. However, keep in mind not every place is mosquito-infested and low
temperatures in winters (to the high season in Nepal) kill most bugs in
the northern plains and hills.
- If traveling in scorching heat, remember to drink
enough water, use hats, sunglasses & SPF lotions. Beware of the
health effects that the mid day sun may cause, most importantly SUN BURN
- Pharmacies or chemists are available in every
little town and village and medications are dispensed. However,
volunteers with prescription drugs should bring enough for the duration
their Nepal trip. They must be carried in their original prescription
bottle and the prescription must be in the name of the volunteer.
- The cost of visiting a doctor is low (less than a dollar) when compared to western countries.
- It is advisable to carry a small health kit, which
should include remedy for upset stomach, some antiseptic cream,
hydration powder, mosquito repellant, sun block, band-aids, etc.