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.
Mosquito-borne diseases, such as Zika, Dengue fever and Chikungunya have been confirmed in Jamaica. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
UK health authorities have classified Jamaica as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
There has been a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases of Dengue fever in Jamaica during the first half of 2016. Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year.
For more details about the Chikungunya virus outbreak, see the website of the National Health Network and Centre.
The standard of medical facilities, both private and government operated, can vary throughout Jamaica and may not meet UK standards; getting access to medication can be challenging.
Medical treatment can be expensive with doctors and hospitals often expecting immediate cash payment for health services. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
The 2013 UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic estimates that around 28,000 adults aged 15 or over in Jamaica were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 1.7% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 110 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.