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Before You Go: Traveler Healthcare in French Guiana

Travel health insurance recommended

French Guiana has a modern healthcare system, though providers may have limited English.

Drinking Water: Avoid drinking or brushing your teeth with tap water, or ordering drinks with ice if you’re staying outside of French Guiana’s major cities. Opt instead for bottled water or water that’s been boiled.

Malaria: If you’re visiting the inland regions of French Guiana, be sure to consult with a doctor about taking anti-malaria tablets before you leave. You should also pack mosquito netting, full-coverage clothing and footwear, as well as mosquito repellent that contains at least 35% DEET. You may also want to stay indoors during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

Malaria is a parasitic infection caused by mosquito bites. Symptoms of malaria include fever, vomiting, headaches and fatigue. Malaria is not contagious.

Yellow Fever: Yellow fever is a virus spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms of Yellow fever include nausea, fever, headaches, chills and muscle pain. If you’re visiting regions with Yellow fever, you should consult a doctor to get the Yellow fever vaccination. Yellow fever is not contagious.

If you’re bringing prescription medications:
  1. Check to see if there are restrictions on your medication in your destination country, especially if the medication contains narcotics, amphetamines or other often controlled substances
  2. Bring medications in their original, labeled container. Never carry loose medication
  3. Include your dated prescription signed by your doctor, certifying the condition the medications are prescribed for, dosages and their generic drug names. Ensure the name on the prescription, container and your passport all match.
  4. If you need syringes or needles, your doctor includes their need on the prescription.
  5. Before you leave, find out how you can legally access medications in the case of loss, theft or emergency – even OTC medication may require documentation from your doctor. Never have controlled substances mailed to you
  6. If legal, consider bring a second container of any essential medications, in case one is lost or stolen. Pack the primary bottle in your carry on, and the second one in another location. Personal-use quantity restrictions may limit you to 30-or 90-day supplies
Travel Health Insurance Checklist:
  1. Investigate travel health insurance options
  2. Be sure the plan includes any pre-existing conditions you have, and be sure to declare them before you go
  3. See if you need an “Extreme Sports” add-on policy if you’re planning activities like scuba diving or spelunking
  4. Find out the payment or reimbursement process and 24-hour emergency coverage contact