Safety in Nepal

Medical matters & Advice

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Trekking in Nepal need not be considered risky affair as far as your health is concerned. Nevertheless, preventive measures such as a thorough medical check up and innoculations before you start trekking can save you from unexpected hazards. Since the remote places of Nepal are not supplied with necessities that are essential for modern medical facilities, and as the rescue and evacuation are measured in days, it is imperative to make a comprehensive First Aid Box consisting of basic drugs and accessories as part of the paraphernalia for trekking. Various trekking guide books and the pamphlet published by the Himalayan Rescue Association gives you detailed information on a complete list of medical supplies or contact to NEC Travels. These guide books are easily available in the book-shops of Kathmandu. In case of serious illness or injury, prompt evacuation to Kathmandu is the best remedy. Modern dentristry is unknown in the hills of Nepal, so it is advised to have a checkup before departure from home. Tooth fillings sometimes loosen in cold temperatures and at high altitudes, so it is recommended to have them checked.

Fitness

All trekking demands a level of fitness that will enable one to put a good day's walking, up hill and down. Most treks should not be taken to gain more than 500 metres in one day above 3,000 meters. There should be plenty of time during the day to cover this distance, so the physical exertion though quite strenuous at times, is not sustained. The best preparation for trekking is cycling, swimming, jogging, squash, tennish and long walks involving up and down hill. Good physical conditioning will probably help for the maximum enjoyment of the treks.

High Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is particularly a important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as following:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia/sleeplessness
  • Persistent headache
  • Dizziness, light headedness, confusion,
  • disorientation, drunken gait
  • Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
  • Slight swelling of hands and face
  • Breathlessness and Breathing irregularity
  • Reduced urine output

These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious problems can occur which can even cause death sometimes within a few hours, the Only cure for the Altitude Sickness is to descend to a lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3,000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.

Literatures and pamphlet published by Himalayan Rescue Association consists of detailed information on AMS. The Central Immigration Office, NEC Travels and Different agencies in Kathmandu distribute this pamphlet free of cost. Since these documents also give information on the list of suggested medical supplies for trekking it is a compulsory item for every trekkers' medical kit.