Health Advice

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Health Advice for Trinidad and Tobago

The Tobago Tourist Board boasts that "the wildlife in Tobago won't kill you", which is mostly true. The islands do have mosquitoes and isolated cases of dengue fever have been reported. The tap water is generally safe to drink, though many visitors prefer bottled water because the public water often has a strong chlorine taste. Use your best judgement if in an area where homes collect rain water from the roof, but very few problems are reported.

The adult HIV/AIDS prevalence at 3.0% or 1 in 33 adults, which is 5 times higher than the USA. The best advice is to use caution and use protection if engaging in sexual activity. Condoms are available from pharmacies to help prevent the spread of AIDS and other STD's.

If you need prescription medication, it is best to bring enough with you for the duration of your trip. There is no guarantee that what you need will be available. American OTC drugs are often available in many pharmacies, however, don't expect everything to be available. They may also be under different names whether American or European market names.

Healthcare

Public Healthcare is free to everyone in Trinidad and Tobago and is paid for by the Government and taxpayers. Healthcare services are offered on a walk-in basis. There are a few major hospitals throughout the country as well as smaller health centers and clinics located regionally. These can be found on the Minstry of Health's website. The public health facilities are way below the standard of what can be found in developed countries. Industrial action (strikes and sickouts) by doctors and nurses happen from time to time, and some healthcare facilities are overcrowded and understaffed, with older equipment and medicines. As an alternative there are also private healthcare facilities that offer healthcare services. Prices will vary and can be quite expensive. Private doctors are also available on an appointment basis.

Public Ambulance services are available to everyone by dialing 990. This service is operated by the fire department. However these may prove to be unreliable since ambulances are limited and fire stations are often far away. Private ambulance services are available. They are generally more reliable but are not free. In an emergency it may be better to arrange one's own transportation to a healthcare facility.

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