Staying Healthy in Belize

Heed these common-sense health and medical tips for a safe vacation

Photo credit: © Nikola Bilic | Dreamstime.com
 

Travel to any country poses certain health and safety concerns and Belize is no exception. By becoming familiar with this country's particular hazards, vacationers are better able to take precautions to ensure that they remain healthy while traveling abroad.

Arrive Prepared

If you are traveling to Belize with prescription medications, make sure to pack them in their clearly labeled orginal containers, alongside a prescription slip or note from your physician detailing your need for the medication. It will also be wise to pack a Travel Medical Kit, which will be important to have if you encounter any small medical concerns such as head aches. This kit should include the following:

  • Painkillers including acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Topical disinfectant;
  • Antacids;
  • Rubbing alcohol;
  • Bandages;
  • Thermometer.

Wildlife

The beautiful wildlife that attracts visitors can pose its own threat to their health, and travelers are encouraged to be aware of the risks. Incidence of malaria has declined in recent years but remains carefully monitored by health officials in Belize. Dengue fever, also transmitted by mosquitoes, poses another problem for vacationers who venture out of Belize City and into the country's interior.

Proper attire and insect-repellent can help travelers avoid mosquito bites, and anti-malarial drugs can be purchased and begun a week before your trip to reduce your likelihood of contracting that disease.  Consult your doctor for further details.

Hospitals

Hospital Location Telephone Number
Belize Medical Associates 5791 St. Thomas Street,
Kings Park, Belize City
501-223-0302
501-223-0303
501-223-0304
Karl Huesner Memorial Princess Margaret Drive,
Belize City
501-23-1584
Belize City Hospital Eyre Street,
Belize City
501-27-7251
Belmopan Hospital Florina Drive,
Belmopan
501-82-2263
501-82-2264
Corozal Hospital Corozal 501-42-2081
Dangriga Hospital Dangriga 501-32-2084
Orange Walk Hospital Orange Walk 501-32-2143
Punta Gorda Hospital Punta Gorda 501-72-2026
San Ignacio Hospital San Ignacio 501-92-2066

Insurance

Medical expenses in Belize can be costly, so acquiring proper medical insurance coverage is important. In fact, even if you do have insurance, many hospitals and treatment facilities require payment at the time of service. Most health insurance policies--except for Medicaid, Medicare and certain HMOs--cover medical expenses incurred while traveling.

Call your insurance company a few weeks prior to traveling to Belize to ensure that you have sufficient coverage. If your policy does not have a provision for medical care while traveling, consider one of the following companies which offer supplemental policies for medical bills incurred while vacationing:

Company Website
Telephone Number
MEDEX International http://www.medexassist.com 800-527-0218
410-453-6300
Travel Assistance International http://www.travelassistance.com 800-821-2828
800-777-8710

Food and Water

The safety of water in Belize is heavily dependent upon which part of the country you're traveling in. In many of the urban areas tap water is filtered and considered safe to drink but visitors are advised to purchase bottled water and avoid drinks with ice. Local specialties such as ceviche should be avoided as well, as raw and undercooked meat can cause food-borne illness.

Travelers in Belize who take these precautions will avoid many common health and medical concerns.

 

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.