Emergency health care is available free of charge
for visitors although, as in most parts of the former Soviet Union. Doctors
in Kazakhstan are well trained and professional but in some specialties medical
practice may lag behind the West. Doctors and hospitals sometimes lack the latest
equipment and medicines and the physical facilities of hospitals are somewhat
run down and below Western standards. However, facilities are now being improved
and visitors can obtain a good level of care and treatment, especially in Almaty,
Astana and other major cities where the one can find a large network of hospitals,
emergency centres and pharmacies, though at a price. But in any case travellers
are advised to take a well-equipped first-aid kit with them containing basic
medicines and any prescriptions that they might need on their journey. For minor
difficulties, visitors are advised to ask the management at their hotel or travel
agency for help. For major problems, visitors are well advised to seek help
outside the country. Travel insurance is essential.
The following information is generally addressed
to the self catering travelers who explore Kazakhstan on their own and/or staying
in families in rural areas.
Emergency services in Kazakhstan
Traffic police (Almaty accidents)
Traffic police (Republic's accidents)
if calling from the ouside of Almaty using street or private
Mountain search and rescue team
+996 (312) 611322
*Free calls from any card and coins street phones, as well as from mobiles and
Nothing compulsory, but we can recommend that your protection against
Tetanus, Typhoid, infectious Hepatitis and Polio is up to date. If you are trekking
in the mountains in early summer, you should contact your doctor about immunisation
against tick-borne encephalitis. It is your responsibility to check all relevant
recommendations and also to get the most up-to-date health information for the
destinations planned on visit. You can contact your doctor or any of the competent
organisations in your country.
When to see your doctor
3 months before travel
Typhoid and Polio
10 days before travel
2 weeks before travel
2 months before travel
3 months before travel
3 months before travel
Japanese B encephalitis
1 month before travel
* Recommendations that are marked "advised*" should
be considered as "Vaccination strongly recommended" if a person is
travelling frequently or spending extended time in that country.
** Following WHO press release of 1973, a cholera vaccination certificate is
not longer a condition of entry to Kazakhstan. However, cholera is common in
this country and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought
before deciding whether these precautions should include vaccination, as medical
opinion is divided over its effectiveness.
Recommendations can change from time to time and it is well advised
to discuss your personal requirements with your doctor or GP.
Diphtheria outbreaks might have a place. Hepatitis A and E are common.
Hepatitis B is endemic. Rabies is present. Typhoid is common in rural areas.
Polio eradication is underway, rapidly reducing the risk of infection with the
disease, therefore all travellers are advised to ensure that tetanus and polio
vaccinations are kept up to date. For those at high risk, vaccination before
arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without
Food and drink Water might have a potential health risk. Water used for drinking,
brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or sterilised. Most
of the travel companies provide the water during their tours. Only pasteurised
milk and dairy products are safe for consumption. Always ask for well-cooked
meat and fish, preferably served hot if eating outside. Pork, salad and mayonnaise
may carry increased risk. Vegetables and fruit should be well washed, cooked
or peeled. Owing to the difficulty of obtaining a balanced diet in some parts
of Kazakhstan, visitors are recommended to take vitamin supplements.
An important part of staying healthy is eating a nutritious and
balanced diet. Finding the right foods in a new country may be difficult. The
food everyone is eating may not appeal to you. So it may help to find some traditional
foods from home, especially when you first arrive.
Exercise can also contribute to your health. If you exercise regularly
you will get sick less often, have more energy, and feel less stress. If you're
used to working out in a gym regularly, and would like to continue to do so
in Kyrgyzstan, you should ask around about good places to work out at. Bishkek
has a number of gyms, sport clubs, and swimming pools one can select from. Staying
healthy in a new environment, with all the differences in climate, food, and
language, is a challenge. If you have health insurance, get medical care when
you need it, eat a nutritious diet, and get regular exercise, you will stay
healthy and get much more out of your experience in Kyrgyzstan.