Staying Healthy on Dominica

Being aware of potential health risks allows travelers to take preventive measures

Photo credit: © Yusaku Takeda |

When visiting Dominica, it is always a good idea to know where hospitals and medical facilities are located and what health precautions you can take so that you can enjoy your tropical getaway to the fullest.

When packing for your trip, consider including a Travel Medical Kit.  This will prepare you for any minor health concerns that arise, such as a minor cut or a headache.  Include in your kit the following items:

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

If you must bring prescription medication along with you, make sure to pack them in their original containers, and that they are clearly labeled.  Alongside your medication, pack a prescription slip, or a note from your physician, detailing why you need the medication. This will prevent confiscation as you travel through customs. 

One of the biggest health problems that tourists face when traveling not only to Dominica but to any tropical location is overexposure to the sun. While basking on the beach and soaking up the gorgeous sunshine may sound like the ideal way to spend your vacation, you may also face some serious medical concerns while having fun in the sun. Here are a few health issues and tips for enjoying the sun safely:

  • Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun, and always protect your skin from harsh sun rays by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and other protective covering.

  • Consume plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated while spending time in the sun. Dehydration and overexposure to the sun can bring on illnesses such as heat stroke and exhaustion quite suddenly.

Immunization Requirements

There are no immunizations required for travelers to enter Dominica, unless you're coming from an infected area. It is recommend that vacationers be up to date on routine vaccinations such as tetanus and measles. Also, travelers are encouraged to receive vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio before leaving for Dominica. Contact the Center for Diease Control before you embark on your trip to ensure that no health warnings have been issued such as the warning about chikungunya, a disease spread by mosquito bites that has recently been discovered to have spread in small numbers on the island.  

Medical Facilities

Medical care on Dominica may be somewhat limited in comparison to other modern countries, but there are several hospitals and clinics located on the island in case you do need medical attention. In case of an emergency, dial 999 for police, fire, or ambulance. If you need general surgery or an emergency operation, you'll need to be taken to Princess Margaret Hospital, the only hospital equipped for these procedures.

The four hospitals on Dominica and their contact information are listed below:

Hospital Telephone Number
Grand Bay Hospital 767-446-3706
Marigot Hospital 767-445-7091
Portsmouth Hospital 767-445-5237
Princess Margaret Hospital 767-448-2231

None of the hospitals on Dominica has hyperbolic chambers, so divers with decompression illness will have to be transported off of the island to receive treatment. Emergency medical evacuation off the island and medical costs can be very expensive, sometimes more than tens of thousands of dollars, so check with your health insurance provider to see if you're covered during your travels abroad. If your policy doesn't cover overseas travels, you can purchase supplementary insurance for your vacation. Remember to always carry a copy of your insurance identification card as well as claims forms and other pertinent insurance information.

Taking a few safety precautions and following some medical tips when traveling to Dominica can help you have an extraordinary time in this tropical paradise.


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