Staying Healthy on Martinique

Travelers can take a few health precautions to make the most out of their vacation

Photo credit: © Kentannenbaum |

The islands in the French West Indies are some of the most well developed and modernized countries in the Caribbean. Medical and health care facilities on Martinique are considered to be some of the best in the eastern Caribbean Islands.

Should travelers need any medical attention while vacationing in beautiful Martinique, they should know that they're in good hands.  There are around 20 hospitals and clinics located on the island, most of which have outstanding facilities, and specialists in every branch of medicine. The ratio of doctors to the general population is about one doctor for every 637 of the island's inhabitants. The largest hospital on the island is called Hospital Pierre Zobda Quikman, and is located about three miles from Fort de France. This facility has a 24-hour emergency room, and can be reached by dialing telephone number 596-596-55-20-00 on the island.

There are several pharmacies located on the island including Pharmacy Cypria in Fort de France, which you can call at 596-63-22-25 from the island, and Pharmacie de la Paix, also in Fort de France at telephone number 596-71-94-83 on the island. Vacationers can most of their prescription and over-the-counter medicines at these pharmacies.

Before setting off for their vacation to Martinique, travelers should check with their insurance companies to see if your policy covers traveling overseas. Also, don't forget to bring insurance information such as you insurance I.D. card and claim forms. Many insurance companies don't provide coverage for their clients while abroad, and if they do, most won't cover the costs of emergency evacuation from the island. If your insurance coverage is not valid while you are on Martinique, travelers can purchase supplemental insurance while overseas in case of any illness while on your vacation.  For minor health concerns, carry a Travel Medical Kit containing the following items:

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

If you must bring prescription medication with you, pack them in their clearly labeled original containors.  Designed pill boxes may not make it through customs.  Additionally, include a prescription slip or note from your physician explaining you need for the medication.

While most vacationers usually remain healthy while vacationing on Martinique, and there are no vaccination requirements to enter the country, there are a few health issues that may effect travelers. Here are some of the most common dangers that tourist face on the island:

  • Overexposure to the sun is one of the greatest dangers to vacationers. Remember to use sunscreen with adequate SPF protection for your skin, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration;

  • Insect bites are also a problem for people spending a lot of time outside. Make sure to wear mosquito repellent to keep those pesky bugs away.  This is all the more important in recent months, since the discovery of several cases of chikungunya which is spread through mosquito bites;

  • When going barefoot on the beach, or wading in shallow waters be aware of sea urchins and jell fish that can cause nasty injuries to your feet;

  • Travelers should be up to date on common vaccinations like Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and measles boosters, before traveling to foreign countries.

While enjoying your vacation on Martinique, be sure to remember these medical and safety tips in order to stay healthy while soaking up the sun on your island getaway.


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