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Healthcare Introduction



The beautiful wildlife that attracts visitors can pose its own threat to their health, and travelers are encouraged to be aware of the risks. You can drink the water in most areas of Belize, but ask locally if you're not sure. Even street food is usually safe, but that doesn't mean you won't get Belize Belly.


GtB Treatment in a Belizean Hospital
Click any Pictures to enlarge
The local microbes may be just different enough from those back home to give your system fits.

Choose one of the 17 Health Topics


               or scroll down
Current Situation Diseases Hospitals & Clinics
Belize Health System Dive Emergency Insurance
Blood Donation
Emergency Nursing Homes
CPR Training
Food and Water Pharmacies
Dentist Get medical treatment Snakes & Scorpions
Diagnostics & Lab
Herbal Medicine
 
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Current Situation



Dengue
In Belize there is always the possibility to catch  Dengue. We had since October 2009 a few cases in Ambergris Caye. Whenever it rains, the water that settles becomes a potential breeding ground for the Aedes Egypti mosquito.

Adult females lay their eggs in water, after 5–14 days, depending on the species and the ambient temperature; eggs hatch to become larvae, then pupae. The adult mosquito emerges from the pupa as it floats at the water surface. Adults live for 4–8 weeks.

Dengue carrying mosquitoes bite mostly during dawn (5-9am) and dusk (6-10pm), so it is recommended retraining from outdoor activities during peak.
Invest in insect repelling lotions and only stay in rooms with screens on windows and doors. Burning mosquito coils or candles formulated with mosquito repellents or using electric mats that vaporize pyrethroid insecticides also may avoid overnight exposure to insects.

Resources: Belize Ministry of Health

Last Update: Friday 21 November, 2014
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The Belize Health System



Belize has a mixed medical system. Most Belizeans get free or low-cost care at a system of government-run hospitals and clinics around the country. In addition, there are doctors with private practices who offer services for fee. Most doctors in Belize are foreign-born and trained. Western Medicine is at a complete loss when it comes to curing such epidemics as cancer, aids and the common cold.

A visit to a doctor will cost about US$15 or $20, plus any medicines prescribed.  A hospital stay could cost you $20-$50 per day.
 
For a serious illness such as a heart attack, you may want to do what wealthy Belizeans do go to Houston, Miami or elsewhere in the U.S.

Chetumal, in Mexico, is the capital of the state of Quintana Roo and just north of Corozal Town. Chetumal has private physicians and clinics which, in many cases, can provide high-quality care at a much lower price than care in the U.S. or in Belize.

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Blood Donation



The Belize Volunteer Blood Donor Association and the Belize National Transfusion Services have a hefty task of not only recruiting donors but also improving the banking system. After the blood has been collected they screen hundred percent of the bags for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Chagas, Malaria and Syphillis.”

For Information, call the Belize Blood Donor Volunteer, Princess Margaret Dr. Belize City +501 224 50 10.

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CPR Training



CPR Training an advanced CPR Training is organized from the Belize Red Cross Society and also frequently trough Bandage International a non-profit organization based in Nova Scotia, Canada that has a cordial working relationship with the Belize Red Cross.

GtB Hands on, CPR Training from Bandage Int. in San Pedro Belize
Activities included administering CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation), treating skin burns, caring for wounded persons, controlling severe bleeding, transporting persons with spinal injuries and others.

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Dentist



Belize City also has a number of dentists.  Ask the dentist before starting the treatment that he has a X-Ray machine. Dental care costs vary, but generally are about one-third to one-half what you'd pay in the U.S. Dental care in Chetumal also is very inexpensive. 
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Diagnostics & Laboratories



Today it’s easy to get your diagnostics in Belize. Private clinics and Belize Medical Associates offer a variety of Imaging diagnostics and clinical laboratory analysis.

Just ask your local doctor and he will guide you to the next lab or diagnostic center.

GtB You can get medical diagnostic and labor analysys in Belize City
Spiral C.T. scan, x-ray services, mammogram, 4D ultrasound, bone mineral density and much more is today in Belize available.

The Laboratories offer hematology, chemistry, radioimmunoassay (RIA), serology, urinalysis, parasitology and bacteriology.

Smaller Laboratories all over Belize also offer some of this services, but mostly only hematology, drug and HIV tests.

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Diseases



The risk of cholera and typhoid, serious diseases elsewhere in the region, is considered low in Belize.  Rabies is present, but rarely affects travelers. Honey bees in Belize are virtually all now Africanized, and these killer bees are aggressive. The use of bug spray is recommended.

GtB Mosquitoes are responsible for Malaria and Dengue Fever
Chagas disease, or the "kissing bug" disease, transmitted by a bug which in Belize is occasionally present in the thatch roofs of poorly maintained structures and which drops down to bite and infect its victim. There is very, very slight risk of filariasis and onchocerciasis (look'em up) in Belize. Read more on Chagas in Wikipedia.

Dengue fever is not common in Belize, but it does occur in the region. Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever  it has been widespread in the Yucatán and sometimes occurs in the cayo district in Belize, especially during and just after the rainy season. Read more on Denque in Wikipedia.
Sandflies Sand flies are common in mangrove swamp areas and in the sand in some areas, notably the Hopkins area, Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Placencia.

Read more on Sandflies in Wikipedia.

GtB Click on the Picture to see the life cycle of the Sandfly
Some people aren't much bothered by sandflies, more serious problem which can be caused by the bites of sandlflies is leishmaniasis, a disease which may cause the skin to develop sores, leaving scars. If infections from sandfly bites don't seem to heal, seek out a tropical medicine specialist.
Malaria Cases of malaria are rare in populated areas such as Belize City and on the cayes. But there are still several thousand cases of malaria reported in Belize every year, mainly in the south and in remote areas of the north and west. Read more on Malaria in Wikipedia.



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Dive Emergency



When you land at the airstrip in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, you may notice an unusual building on the north side of the airstrip. The building houses a Double-Lock Recompression Chamber owned by Subaquatics of Belize Ltd. It is the only recompression chamber in Belize.

Emergency service is available 24 hour, everyday.
For further infomation, please visit our Dive Emergency Page

Emergency Phone: +501-226-2851
Phone: +501-226-3195
Fax: +501-226-2852
Email: sssbelize@aol.com
Dr. Otto Rodríguez: +501-16-3864
Antonia Guerrero: +501-16-3442

DON'T: Over-exercise; take hot showers or baths after diving; drink alcohol, coffee and sodas immediately before/or after; avoid getting too cold during and after diving; avoid greasy foods; do not fly immediately after a dive.

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Emergency



Remain calm, use common sense, and give assistance as needed and try to reassure others. Make sure 911 has been called if people are injured or if there is a threat to life.

For further infomation and contact numbers visit our Emergency Page

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Food and Water



The safety of water in Belize is heavily dependent upon which part of the country you're traveling in. In many of the urban areas tap water is filtered and considered safe to drink but visitors are advised to purchase bottled water and avoid drinks with ice.

GtB Water and Softdrinks are all over avialable
Local specialties such as ceviche should be avoided in the first week, to give you boday time to adjust. Don't eat raw and undercooked meat it can cause food-borne illness.
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How to get medical treament?



Belize has a shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas, but treatment is available, by generally well-trained physicians, in Belize City, on Ambergris Caye and in larger towns such as Dangriga and San Ignacio.
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Herbal Medicine



Belize has a rich tradition of natural and herbal medicine.  The most famous, Don Eligio Panti, died in 1996 at well over age 100. Ask locally for recommendations on the nearest bush doctor or snake doctor.

GtB Wild Belize Tamarind tea is calming the stomac
The best of them combine natural healing with an instinct for when to direct patients to a local clinic or hospital. As a sample, wild tamarind tea is calming the stomac for gastric or digestion problems and helps you after a stressfull day. It also can reduce malaria fever.
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Hospitals



If you become ill in Belize, you can get emergency care at a local public hospital or clinic.  Besides Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and a variety of clinics in Belize City.
Hospital Location Telephone Number
Belize Medical Associates
belizemedical.com
5791 St. Thomas Street,
Kings Park, Belize City
+501-223-0302
+501-223-0303
+501-223-0304
Karl Huesner Memorial
khmh.bz
Princess Margaret Drive,
Belize City
+501-223-1584
Belize City Hospital Eyre Street,
Belize City
+501-227-7251
San Pedro Polyclinic II
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye
+501-226-2536
Belmopan Hospital Florina Drive,
Belmopan
+501-822-2263
+501-822-2264
La Loma Luz Hospital
Santa Elena
+501-804-2985
Corozal Hospital Corozal +501-422-2081
Southern Regional Hospital
Dangriga
+501-522-3832
Dangriga Hospital Dangriga +501-522-2084
Orange Walk Hospital Orange Walk Town
+501-322-2143
Punta Gorda Hospital Punta Gorda +501-722-2026
San Ignacio Hospital San Ignacio +501-824-2066

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Insurance



Medical expenses in Belize can be costly, so acquiring proper medical insurance coverage is important. In fact, even if you do have insurance, many hospitals and treatment facilities require payment at the time of service.
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Nursing Homes



There are on a few small nursing homes in Belize and at this point we can refer any of them. With all the expats living in Belize there is certainly a need for a US style Belize nursing homes. The owners of nursing homes in the US, Canada or Europe should take a look at Belize.

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Pharmacies



Belize pharmacies usually require a doctor's prescription for prescribed drugs.  A few drugs, such as painkillers with codeine which may require a prescription in the U.S., are usually available over the counter in Belize.

GtB Mostly each doctor in Belize has its own pharmacy
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Snakes & Scorpions



Belize has about two dozen varieties of poisonous snakes, only about nine are actually potentially lethal,  along with painful stinging scorpions. To get more information on dangeraous animals, you can visit our Dangerous Land Creatures or the Dangerous Sea Creatures page.

GtB Health in Belize poisonous Fer-de-Lance snake
The average visitor, however, has far more to fear from traffic accidents than any natural-born killer. Traffic accidents have become the leading cause of death in the Belize.
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Guide to Belize,  November 2014


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