Health Advice – Health Care Guide for Touring Ukraine

Ukraine Channel is glad to provide useful health advice for travelling in Ukraine. By taking certain precautions and being aware of health care in Ukraine it can ensure a pleasant stay. Please note that these are merely suggested tips and it is a good idea to see your health care professional before departing for Ukraine.

If you have not received a tetanus-diphtheria injection in the last ten years it is advisable to receive the vaccine. Reports of diphtheria in Ukraine are good reason to be immunized. Due to recent outbreaks of measles it is important that your immunization against this disease is up-to-date. A hepatitis A vaccination is advised and should be given a minimum of 2 weeks before departure. A booster is received 6 to 12 months afterwards. All travelers except those staying for a brief period and only eating at recommended restaurants should receive a typhoid vaccine. A hepatitis B vaccine should be considered if intimate contact is to be made with locals or if blood transfusions or injections may be needed. Many stray animals roam the city streets in Ukraine and though they usually leave you alone, you may want to consider a Rabies vaccine. Ensure that all your routine immunizations are up-to-date. Some people receive an influenza vaccine when traveling to Ukraine between November and April. Long-term visitors spending time in rural areas should talk to their doctor about getting a tick-borne encephalitis vaccine.

Tick Protection
If you are going to be traveling to rural or forest regions in Ukraine during the spring and summer seasons it is strongly advised that you take precautions against tick bites. Wear tops with long sleeves as well as long pants and boots. Insect repellents can be purchased from pharmacies and should be applied to the body and clothing. Check carefully for ticks at the end of the day and quickly remove any which may have latched onto you.

Water and Food
Tap water must be chemically disinfected, boiled or filtered. Do not drink beverages with ice. Due to some radiation that reached Ukraine from the Chernobyl accident the following foods should be avoided: wild berries, wild mushrooms, game and wild fowl. All fruits and vegetables must be peeled or cooked. Don’t eat food that has been standing at room temperature. Do not purchase food items from street vendors. Beware of fish that may contain biotoxins, these include barracuda, sea bass, red snapper, amberjack and grouper. Carry antidiarrheal medications with you. If symptoms are severe and last longer than 72 hours, seek immediate medical assistance.

Avoid swimming in Dnipro River as it is possible to be negatively affected by radioactive material and pollutants. Only swim in chlorinated pools.

Medical Facilities
Whilst health care in Ukraine can deal with routine problems they are not always as sophisticated as facilities in more developed countries. Many medical centers and hospitals are located throughout the country. Certain institutions may require cash payments and supplies may be lacking. Dial 03 to call a public ambulance when in the city of Kiev.

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