At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
UK health authorities have classified Bolivia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Yellow fever vaccine should be given to travellers 9 months of age and older travelling to areas below 2,300m east of the Andes Mountains. These areas include the entire departments of Beni, Pando, and Santa Cruz, and some areas in the Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz and Tarija departments. Yellow fever vaccine may not be suitable for some individuals so you should seek further advice from your GP, practice nurse or private travel clinic.
Certain medications prescribed for personal use in the UK are treated as narcotics in Bolivia, with severe penalties for import or export without a valid prescription from a doctor. You should refer to the list of controlled substances that are considered narcotics in Bolivia. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, carry a letter from a doctor describing the medical condition and any prescribed drugs. If you bring medicines with you, make sure they are in their original containers and clearly labelled.
Foreign nationals aren’t entitled to free medical treatment in Bolivian public hospitals. Public hospitals tend to be crowded and often don’t meet UK standards. Private healthcare facilities that work with international insurance companies are available in major cities. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, carry a letter from a doctor describing the medical condition and any prescribed drugs. If you bring medicines with you, make sure they are in their original containers and clearly labelled.
Dengue Fever is common to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year. Rain and flooding can lead to an increase in dengue carrying mosquitoes, leaving affected areas more vulnerable to dengue breakouts. Malaria is also common in lowland tropical areas (Beni and Pando) and the area known as Chaco in the south (Yacuiba, Paracari).
Some areas have been designated as ‘high risk’ for yellow fever. When outbreaks occur, the government sets up vaccination points at police checkpoints. At each of these, you may be vaccinated if you do not hold a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Parts of Bolivia, including La Paz are at high altitude. This factsheet includes advice on how to reduce the risk of altitude sickness and what to do if you develop symptoms.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 118 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.