Vietnam is currently implementing to upgrade its healthcare system. This system is fairly safe and respectable in urban centers while rural areas also gradually get funds and facilities. Planning a trip to Vietnam, health insurance is always an important item to research before travelling. Every traveler should contact their personal health provider before planning their travel, and all travelers should exercise basic food and water hygiene to minimize the chances of illness. Below is some useful information to help you better understanding on health care system and travel vaccination for Vietnam.
Malaria: Malaria is a concern for travelers in Vietnam. However, the major cities and standard coastal areas in Vietnam have a very low chance of contracting malaria. If venturing off the track and up into the bush in the Central Highlands or the interior in the Central, North, or Mekong Delta, travelers should take a malaria prophylaxis. In farther "off-the-track" border regions near Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, you can protect yourself against infection by taking a medicine like Doxycycline, which is the recommended prophylactic in Vietnam except when contraindicated.
Your best insurance is to take care when sleeping: ensure that windows are closed and have a good mosquito net when needed (typically provided). Also, you should wear a long-sleeve shirt and trousers in the evening. Put bug spray (preferably with DEET) on exposed areas of the skin, and avoid swampy marshes or heavy jungle at dawn and dusk. In addition, do not let fears of malaria ruin your trip. Take these precautions (when needed) and all will be fine.
Japanese Encephalitis: Japanese Encephalitis is a viral infection of the brain with high incidence among young children or elderly. Yet you will have low risk exposure. Not only is infection extremely rare among travelers, but you should generally avoid rainy seasons when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Vietnam vaccination is not usually recommended for short-term travelers unless they are spending a lot of time in rural or outbreak areas.
Fever: Generally no worries about yellow fever here unless you are traveling through a country with fever cautions (these are confined to Africa and South America). Again, if you are travelling to Vietnam with airport stopovers only, you do not need proof of vaccination. However, dengue fever, another kind of fever is quite popular in the country. It is a viral infection spread by the Aedes-Aegypti mosquito. Symptoms include headache, high fever, and muscle pain. Unlike malaria and Japanese encephalitis, which survive and spread mostly out in rural areas, dengue knows no bounds and urban outbreaks are common. There is no prophylaxis and no treatment, yet with dengue, it is just a matter of suffering it out with cold compresses, fever-reducing pain relievers, and lots of hydration.
Rabies: It is a concern in rural areas of Vietnam. Rabies is a fatal viral infection carried by animals such as dogs, monkeys or even bats. The disease is transmitted by a bite or contact with the saliva of an infected animal. If exposed in any way - a puncture wound of any kind from a suspected animal who exhibits strange behaviors such as foaming at the mouth or ataxia, just seek treatment immediately and follow a series of vaccinations over a 1-month period. Adventure travelers or health workers who will spend lots of time in the countryside and the bush might just want to consider a pre-exposure vaccination, which makes post-exposure treatment far more simple, as it decreases the number of shots required as well as prevents the need for rabies immune globulin. Another group at high risk is children. They are more likely to touch or play with stray dogs and are less likely to report a bite. Thus, the best advice: Stay away from dogs.
Besides, there are some deceases needing paying special attention when you travel to Vietnam, namely Diarrhea, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Measles; however, most are given for free or included in your insurance plan. In addition, these deceases are quite rare for short-term travelers. Just deliberately take care the health; your trip will be actually interesting and enjoyable.