PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITO BITES
We recommend that all BFREE visitors take utmost care to protect against mosquito bites while in the tropics. To ensure your health and comfort, we request that all those who travel to BFREE pack the following essential items which protect against bites by mosquitoes and other pests:
- 1) Mosquito net to be used throughout your travels. A single canopy mosquito bed net will work in essentially any setting you will encounter during your trip. Two options that are currently available on Amazon are Friendly Swede’s Single canopy net or Emergency Zone’s canopy mosquito net.
- 2) Light-weight long sleeved shirts and long pants (at least 2 of each). If budget allows, there is also mosquito repellent clothing that can be purchased through major outfitters like Columbia, REI.
- 3)Mosquito repellent
Also, check the latest recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) prior to your travels. They are a great source for up-to-date information as well as health and safety travel tips.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND SANITATION
Levels of public health in Belize compare favorably with those of developed countries. Although it is a tropical country, Belize has in large part eradicated, controlled, or simply avoided the tropical diseases that plague other countries in the region: cholera, yellow fever, amoebic dysentery, and others. This being said, various tropical diseases are present at very low levels including malaria, dengue fever, Leischmaniasis, hepatitis A and B, rabies, and skin parasites. HIV/AIDS is very prevalent throughout the country. All visitors to Belize should visit a reputable international travel clinic to receive the appropriate immunizations.
Health Warnings and Advice can be found online:
National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) | World Health Organization (WHO)
Tap water is generally safe to drink anywhere, but never drink from streams. If you are somewhat new to travel, you may experience brief stomach and intestinal upsets during the trip as your system adjusts to a different set of microorganisms—and a Belizean coming to the US might encounter the same problem. To give your system a chance to adapt, some people prefer to drink bottled water during the first few days of the trip. There is no safe medication to protect you against this problem, but it generally passes quickly. Any time you have diarrhea, from whatever cause, keep drinking fluids (with electrolyte powder if available) for proper rehydration and replacement of minerals.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL INFO
BFREE has two evacuation plans in cases of medical emergency:
In critical emergencies a British Army helicopter will evacuate the patient from BFREE to the premier private clinic in the country:
Belize Medical Associates
Tel [011-501]-223-0302; 223-0303; 223-0304
5791 St. Thomas St.
P.O. Box 1008
Belize City, Belize
The individual’s parents, guardians, or spouse will be notified. If necessary, the individual will be flown to a hospital in Florida or Texas either by an international “life-flight” or on the next commercial jet.
In non-critical emergencies, individuals will be driven out from BFREE to Punta Gorda Town or Independence Village and driven or flown to Belize Medical Associates in Belize City (information above).
BFREE is not responsible for costs accrued during emergency medical evacuation or treatment.
Any questions should be directed to: