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Do you have a medical question pertaining to living in Indonesia? If so, contact us. Medical staff at International SOS have generously agreed to answer your questions!

The source for information on moving to Indonesia for expats, expatriates and foreigners!

I have been told by some people not to eat lettuce and leafy vegetables raw because of the possibility of amoebic parasites. Others say it is okay. I wonder if a light chlorine soak would rid the vegetables of this problem? If so, what would be the quantity per water. Also, someone mentioned Milton sterilization tablets and I wondered if that would kill these parasites? (1/2017)

Please consult these Medical Notes on Amoebic Dysentery for further information on best practices.

Declaration of interest: medical adviser to International SOS, an AEA Company, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The source for information on moving to Indonesia for expats, expatriates and foreigners!

Our son was bitten by a monkey in Java, at G-land Surf Camp. The monkey has bitten several people in the last two months. Someone killed its baby and it has been attacking staff and surfers. Are there known cases of rabies in Java? (8/2016)

Whilst we understand the risk of Rabies in Bali is high, we do not have precise understanding of Rabies in the wider Java region. We believe the risk to be lower (than Bali) but still qualifies as ‘High Risk’ in world terms according to this WHO graph. We would recommend first aid as per WHO guidelines  also see this resource.

In addition, we know that monkey bites in Bali carry a risk of Herpes Virus transmission also and in such cases we usually recommend administration of anti-viral medicines as well as anti-rabies.

Declaration of interest: medical adviser to International SOS, an AEA Company, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The source for information on moving to Indonesia for expats, expatriates and foreigners!

I have had the first tranch of post bite rabies jabs, and have been told I need a follow up in one week and then three weeks later. I shall be in Lombok a week after the first injection and hope that there is a medical fascility there that can provide the injection? We plan to be in Lombok and Flores for 12 days so would only be able to get the second one in Bali 2 weeks after the first. Would really appreciate your advise. (8/2016)

I understand you already received the first twi injections of rabies vaccine, and you were not vaccinated before the exposure. Did you also get Immunoglobulines? It could be indicated. The recommendation are: to get rabies vaccine at first day, day 3, day 7, day 14, and day 28.

We checked for rabies vaccine availability: at the time we called, we were told that there is one vaccine in Lombok, at Islam Hospital Jatiwarga, MALARAM. There is no other place where vaccine could be available in Lombok, and no place in Flores. I would advise you to secure this vaccine as this is the only one: please liaise directly with this hospital to be sure you will can receive it. The phone number is 0819-07522525.  If I may assist you better, please let me know.

Declaration of interest: medical adviser to International SOS, an AEA Company, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The source for information on moving to Indonesia for expats, expatriates and foreigners!

My daughter in law was in a serious motorcycle accident and had several tendons in her foot repaired by surgery. The hospital is suggesting a week long stay will be necessary to ward off infection. This seems longer than the US but is that standard protocol for Indonesia? Are oral antibiotics effective enough for her to travel home? (8/2016)

It is very common to have much longer hospitalizations in Indonesia. The duration of inpatient stay is determined by the treating doctor. For injuries as you described it would be common practice to give intravenous antibiotics initially, followed by oral antibiotics a few days later. For a long transcontinental flight it would be ideal if she could keep her foot elevated for most of the flight, if travel is planned within the first week or so after surgery.

Declaration of interest: medical adviser to International SOS, an AEA Company, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The source for information on moving to Indonesia for expats, expatriates and foreigners!

I will in Bali next month and want to have a back up plan if my pacemaker has problems, its nearly at its end of life. Can you tell me if there is anywhere that can check a Medtronic pacemaker in Bali? (7/2016)

We have checked with our referrals staff in our Bali Clinic, and please be advised that Doctor Gunadi, a cardiologist at Sanglah Hospital, Denpasar, can deal with Medtronic pacemakers. We hope you won't hae the need to see him during your visit, and wish you a nice stay in Bali.

Declaration of interest: medical adviser to International SOS, an AEA Company, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Answers to medical questions for expatriates in Indonesia!

I see a lot of queries about malaria and pills, however will really appreciate it if you help me on these questions: 1) Can I just not take Malaria pills at all if I go to Bali 8 days, Gilis 8 days and Lombok 8 days (3 days of trecking to the volcano). What do people who live there do? Some pills cannot be taken for more than 28 days and my trip is more or less that many. 2) Do I need a japanese encephalitis vaccine at all for these areas - lots of contradictive opinions on that, and 3) Can I go without hepatits A vaccine? I live in Spain and just realized that although it is a month before the trip I cannot get a doctor's advice ASAP and need to wait until the end of the month. Vaccines are hard to find and some of them are not supplied in the country. I have my trip booked but no specialized doctor can meet me. Would really appreciate your opinion on if I can just travel to Indonesia without any vaccines? Thank you in advance for your help.

For your trip in Indonesia, please be advised as follows:

  • Hepatitis A - vaccination is recommended for most travellers, including those with standard itineraries and accommodations.
  • Malaria - There is a low risk of transmission in Lombok and Gilis islands. The malaria species are plasmodium falciparum and plasmodium vivax, with a drug resistance to chloroquine. The international recommendations are to use a chemoprophylaxis: atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine.
  • Japanese encephalitis - recommendations are as followed: Vaccination is recommended for the following groups:
    • Long-term travelers (i.e., trips lasting a month or more) to endemic areas;
    • Short-term (<1 month) travelers to endemic areas during Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season if their itinerary or activities will increase their risk (e.g., spending substantial time outdoors in rural or agricultural areas; staying in accommodations without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets.);
    • Travelers to an area with an ongoing outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
    • Travelers to endemic areas who are uncertain of specific activities or duration of travel. Indonesia is an endemic area, and in Indonesia transmission can occur year-round, often with a peak during the rainy season. Please note that Japanese Encephalitis is a rare event among travellers, but that does not mean there is no risk at all.

Please also let me give you some more advice: in any tropical region, preventing insect bites is vital - especially as malaria, dengue fever, Chikungunya fever, and other insect-borne diseases are even more likely to be present. Please use adequate mosquito repellent, wear protective clothing, with long sleeves and pants, stay indoors at twilight and after dark, and sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito net.

I hope this information will help you to make the best decisions for yourself. I wish you a nice trip in Indonesia.

Declaration of interest: medical adviser to International SOS, an AEA Company, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Answers to medical questions for expatriates in Indonesia!

 

 

 

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Do you have a medical question pertaining to living in Indonesia? If so, contact us. Medical staff at International SOS have generously agreed to answer your questions for this forum.

We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.

 

Last updated January 16, 2017

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