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HEALTH CARE

  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
Ambulance 03*
Police 02*
Fire brigade 01*
Medical service  
Rescue  
Traffic police (Almaty accidents)  
Traffic police (Republic's accidents) if calling from the ouside of Almaty using street or private phones.
Gas service 04*
Mountain search and rescue team +996 (312) 611322
*Free calls from any card and coins street phones, as well as from mobiles and private phones.

Vaccinations
  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.

Disease
Vaccination
When to see your doctor
Certificate
Tick-borne encephalitis Avdised if* 3 months before travel
No
Typhoid and Polio Advised 10 days before travel
No
Hepatitis A Advised 2 weeks before travel
No
Hepatitis B Advised if* 2 months before travel
No
Diphtheria Advised 3 months before travel
No
Tuberculosis Advised if* 3 months before travel
No
Japanese B encephalitis Not required  
No
Yellow fever Not required  
No
Meningococcal meningitis Not required  
No
Rabies Advised if* 1 month before travel
No
Malaria No  
No
Cholera Advised  
**

* 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.

Other risks
  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 delay.

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.

Staying Healthy
  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.

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