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.
The standard of local medical care can be poor and some medical tests can’t be done reliably. Psychological and psychiatric services are also limited throughout Indonesia.
Good medical care can be very expensive and in remote areas attention for serious injuries or illness is likely to be unavailable. You may require expensive medical evacuation costing up to tens of thousands of pounds. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Air quality in Indonesia’s major cities can reach levels considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ or ‘unhealthy’. Current air quality data for Jakarta can be found on the Air Quality Index website.
Tap water is not potable throughout Indonesia.
Ash plumes from volcanoes can affect air quality and have an impact on health, particularly for anyone with pre-existing respiratory conditions. If you’re in the vicinity of a volcanic eruption and affected by subsequent ash fall, you can find further information in digital pamphlets issued by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN), which cover the potential health hazards of volcanic ash and offer advice on how to prepare and cope with ash fall.
During the dry season (May-November), widespread forest fires can cause smoke haze resulting in poor air quality across parts of Indonesia, particularly Riau Islands, central Sumatra and Kalimantan. The haze can cause disruption to local and regional air travel, and the air pollution may have an impact on public health. Keep up to date with local information and seek medical advice on appropriate precautions. A regional haze map is available from the Singapore Meteorological Service.
There’s a risk of dengue fever in Bali and elsewhere which is heightened during the rainy season (usually from around October to April).
UK health authorities have classified Indonesia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website for travel to Indonesia - including Bali, for travel to Indonesia - Borneo.
Rabies exists in domestic and wild animals. There are many street dogs in Bali and elsewhere. You should avoid direct contact with all dogs and cats (including pets), monkeys and other animals and seek immediate help if you’re bitten or scratched.
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.
Avian Influenza (bird flu)
Avian flu has led to over 150 confirmed human fatalities in Indonesia since 2003, although the annual rate appears to be declining. All cases so far have been linked to close contact with poultry.
Although the risk to humans from Avian Influenza is low, you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds, and make sure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.