Share this page
or share to

Facebook

Google+

Twitter

LinkedIn

Instagram
Health & Safety

While planning your trip to Flores, it is important to inform yourself about health and safety issues. We highly recommend you to consult a specialist on tropical medicine in your home country prior to your journey. A reliable physician can give you the right advice on the vaccinations needed and the preparation of a medical travel kit.

 

On the following pages, you will find information about important topics related to health and safety while traveling in Flores.

 

Please note that the following information does not replace the advice of a physician, and we do not take any responsibility for the information’s accuracy.

 

FOOD AND WATER

 

A journey to a foreign country is always a trip through its culinary landscapes and a door to the social world of its inhabitants. For the Florinese people, eating and especially sharing a meal with their family and friends, is a very important part of their communal life. Therefore, meals are not only a means to get one’s caloric intake, but a symbol for sharing, social cohesion, communication, family unity and integration.

As a guest in a Florinese village, sharing a meal with the local people is your chance to get close to them and to be part of their community for a while. As Flores is among the world’s less-developed regions, concerns about the hygiene of foodstuffs and water are justified. However, you should not miss out to step into the wonderful world of Florinese food by refusing it, as this would be considered as impolite and humiliating by your hosts. Usually, there is no problem with eating  local meals, as your hosts are concerned about your well-being as well – no one wants to see you in discomfort. Of course there is no absolute guarantee for not getting an upset stomach.

Use your common sense, trust your hosts, and consider the following basic safety information on food and beverages. These protective measures should help you to avoid diarrhea, which is the most common travel-related ailment.

Water:

  • Do not drink tap water unless it has been boiled, filtered, or chemically disinfected.
  • Avoid drinks that contain ice.
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk and any products that might have been made from unpasteurized milk, such as ice cream.

Food:

  • Do not eat fruits or vegetables unless they have been peeled or cooked.
  • Do not eat raw or uncooked meat or fish. Some types of fish may contain poisonous biotoxins even when cooked. Barracuda in particular should never be eaten.
    Make sure to bring along an antibiotic and anti-diarrheal drugs to be taken immediately as emergency treatment in case of severe diarrhea (which is defined as three or more loose stools in an 8-hour period or five or more loose stools in a 24-hour period), especially if it is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, cramps, fever or blood in the stool.

 

MEDICAL FACILITIES

Health centers, hospitals, and general practitioners are present throughout Flores. However, in case of emergency, the limited equipment may not be sufficient. Depending on the case, admission to a renowned hospital on Bali or Singapore is advised.

List of local hospitals and pharmacies :

  • Download List of local hospitals here

 

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Vaccinations

Before you start on your journey to Flores, make sure to consult a doctor or a clinic specialized in travel medicine. The vaccinations and preventive measures needed depend on the length of your stay, the activities you may be undertaking, as well as your personal health conditions.

Since the vaccinations have to be made up to eight weeks before departure, it is imprtant to contact the doctor early. All vaccinations are registered in an international certificate of vaccinations, which is a part of your travel documents to bring along.

Recommended vaccinations by the World Health Organization (WHO), regional office for South-East Asia:

  • Adult diphtheria and tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Typhoid
  • Varicella

 

Recommended for long-term travelers

  • Japanese B Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Rabies
  • Tuberculosis (TB)

 

Required Vaccinations

Yellow Fever is required if you have visited a country in the yellow-fever zone (West Africa, Central Africa or South Africa) within six days before your arrival in Indonesia.

Insurance:

It is advisable to cover a travel insurance, as unexpected hospitalizations can sum up immensely. If you are insured, the costs on the submission of invoices can be asserted at home. Consider that there are some restrictions, especially for dental therapies and chronic.  The invoice that you will submit to the insurance should at least include the following information:

  • name, date of birth and the date of treatment
  • diagnosis
  • services provided in a detailed list (advice, tests, treatments, medications, injections, lab fees, hospital stay)
  • signature of physician
  • stamp

 

If an adequate medical treatment on spot is impossible or unacceptable,  the insured patient will be brought home. Thus it is vital that your health insurance package contains a return transport to your home country. The costs for the travel insurance basically depend on your age and the duration of your trip.

Travel Medicine

In order to patch yourself up in case of smaller bruises and minor medical conditions, we recommend you to prepare a travel first-aid kit. Your doctor can advice you on the content of a first-aid kit.  As a minimal basis, the following points should be covered:

  • basic equipment (plasters, dressings, bandages, Steri-strips etc. )
  • pain and feverstomach or intestine diseases
  • skin diseases
  • colds
  • circulation
  • travel sickness
  • sun protection
DISEASES
Tropical Diseases in Flores

The diseases mentioned below are spread throughout the Americas, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. The risk of getting infected – particularly with Malaria – affects Flores as well. Therefore, we highly recommend you to seek medical advice and take the necessary measures before you start on your trip. (link to vaccinations)

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is caused by an infection with the dengue virus, which is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans. The transmission occurs through the bite of a mosquito and has an incubation period of three to fourteen days. The virus is widespread in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide, predominantly in urban and semi-urban areas.

The research on medical dengue prevention for public health use is in process. Until now, there is unfortunately no a vaccination or other prophylaxis available. An infection can only be prevented by avoiding the mosquito bites.The course of disease varies. In mild cases, the disease subsides between three to seven days.

For approximately 2-4 % of the cases, the disease takes a severe course where the dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) can even cause death.

The symptoms resemble a common cold with fever (40° C are not uncommon), chills, severe headaches as well as joint and muscle pain. Along with a rash, these symptoms are referred to as the ‘dengue triad’.

Download PDF Health Awareness in Flores Dengue (English)
Download PDF Health Awareness in Flores Dengue (Bahasa)

Malaria

As many other tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, Flores is considered to be a high risk area for Malaria.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. The main symptoms of malaria are fever, headache, and vomiting. They usually break out between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. The diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory analysis of a blood sample.

As there is no vaccination against malaria, avoiding mosquito bites is the most important element of malaria prevention. Additionally, the risk of developing a severe form of Malaria can be reduced by prophylactic measures (chemoprophylaxis) or by carrying emergency malaria drugs (standby therapy).

As in many parts of the world the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines. Before starting your trip, get advice from a specialist in tropical medicine about the effectiveness of the different medications.

How to avoid bites?

Mosquito bites can be limited by wearing protective clothing (avoid dark-colored or black clothing as it attracts mosquitoes) and using mosquito repellent sprays or mosquito nets for malaria prevention. As the adult tiger mosquitoes, which cause dengue fever, are active during the day, your options for protection are limited. Mosquito repellent sprays with a high DEET content are most effective in lowering the risk of a mosquito bite.

Visit WHO guidelines for the treatment of Malaria

Download PDF Health Awareness in Flores Malaria (English)
Download PDF Health Awareness in Flores Malaria (Bahasa)

Japanese B Encephalitis

Japanese B Encephalitis, caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus, is a rare disease in travelers. However, many locals are infected each year. This disease, with an incubation period of 5 to 15 days, is most prevalent in Southeast Asia and the Far East. Domestic pigs and wild birds are the most common hosts of the virus. Thus, most cases occur in rural areas. Vaccination is recommended for travelers spending more than one month in rural areas. There is no specific treatment, it is supportive with assistance given for feeding, breathing or seizure control as required.

Rabies

Rabies is a potentially fatal disease which is triggered by the bites of infected animals, mostly dogs or monkeys. If you happen to be bitten by an animal, you should look for medical treatment immediately in any case. Gently wash the wound with soap and water and apply an iodine-based antiseptic as a first-aid measure. A vaccination with ‘pretavel’, which is a vital part of your medical pre-journey preparations, will simplify the rabies treatment significantly. If you missed this vaccination, you urgently need to intake rabies immunoglobulin.

Download PDF Health Awareness in Flores Rabies (English)
Download PDF Health Awareness in Flores Rabies (Bahasa)

Traveler’s Diarrhea (Please read about “Food and Water” above)

8 Wonders of Flores
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park, located between Sumbawa and Flores, was founded in 1980 with the aim of protecting the endangered Komodo dragon. As the park is not only the last sanctuary for the Komodo dragon but also a unique area of marine biodiversity, it became a Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1986 and ent...
Read more »
Bena Village
Bena Village
Bena, a community that is situated about 16km from Bajawa at the foot of Mount Inerie, is the most famous and also most visited village in the Ngada district. With its impressive stone formations and ancestral shrines, as well as traditional houses, Bena has turned into a signpost for Ngada culture....
Read more »
Wae Rebo Village
Wae Rebo Village
Wae Rebo is an old Manggaraian village, situated in pleasant, isolated mountain scenery. The village offers visitors a unique opportunity to see authentic Manggarai housing and to experience the everyday life of the local community. In the village of Wae Rebo, visitors can see mbaru niang – tradit...
Read more »
Kelimutu National Park
Kelimutu National Park
Mount Kelimutu, with its tri-colored crater lakes, is probably the most amazing natural phenomenon in Flores. Beyond that, the ‘steaming mountain’ is also the island’s most famous tempat angker, or mystical, haunted place. Scientific explanations aside, there are many myths about the origin o...
Read more »
Semana Santa
Semana Santa
Each year, Larantuka celebrates the Holy week known as ‘Semana Santa’. It is held during the week before Easter Sunday. All along the Holy week, Catholic pilgrims from Flores and all over Indonesia flooded the tranquil city of Larantuka. The prayers center around two religious icons. The...
Read more »
Riung 17 Islands
Riung 17 Islands
The sub-district of Riung, located to the north of Bajawa, is famed for its beautiful coral gardens. The coast and the surrounding area of the town of Riung have become a national conservation area, and were even given the status of a national park and named Pulau Tujuh Belas, or ‘Seventeen Island...
Read more »
Watublapi Ikat Weaving
Watublapi Ikat Weaving
Watublapi is a small community in the Sikka district well known for its fine traditional ikat weaving. Whereas many other local weaving communities switched to industrially spun yarn and chemical dyes for the sake of saving time and money, the weavers of Watublapi still use the traditional, handspun...
Read more »
The Hobbit Liang Bua
The Hobbit Liang Bua
With this finding, long-held scientific theories on the evolutionary past of human beings were contested: was there a land connection between mainland Asia or Australia and Flores? Was the isolated island situation responsible for the dwindling size? Did modern human beings cross with the hobbit, or...
Read more »