Haiti

Stay safe & healthy

Stay safe & healthy


Stay safe

WARNING: In 2012, Canada cautioned its citizens to "exercise a high degree of caution" because of high crime rates and the United States warned its citizens that "the ability of local authorities to respond to emergencies is limited and in some areas non-existent" as some visitors have been attacked, robbed, shot or killed.[www][www]
 

Since the earthquake on January 12, 2010, many people are still living on the streets in makeshift shelters. There have been a number of protests and an increase in criminal activity. Use proper judgment when traveling in Haiti. Overall, do exercise a heightened level of caution based on common sense. Do not carry huge loads of cash around, or walk late at night in dark streets.

Women should not walk alone on the island. The number of people that fled to the island after the earthquake is unknown, but the atmosphere on the island has changed some people. Even when women walk with other men, Haitian men may still utter remarks. They are not afraid to maintain eye contact, and their stares may make one uneasy. It is best to be polite, but be engaged in your immediate group.


Stay healthy

WARNING: A widespread cholera outbreak took hold after UN peacekeepers were deployed in response to the 2010 earthquake; by August 2015, after the rainy season that year brought a spike in cases, more than 700,000 Haitians had become ill with cholera and the death toll had climbed to 9,000. Cholera, spread through contaminated food and water, can cause dehydration and death. Local medical care is woefully inadequate in many of the potentially dangerous areas. 
 

Sanitary conditions in Haiti are poor. Tap water should be avoided. Drink bottled water only.

Health care, while well below the standards of that in developed countries, is available in all large towns and cities. Many smaller towns and villages also have health clinics. However, medical equipment and a wide variety of medicines may be in meager supply.

The biggest concern in Haiti for travellers is malaria and dehydration. One should make an appointment with a travel clinic for anti-malarial prophylaxis. Hydration requirements can be fulfilled by preparing one of the many water purifying systems as if one were going camping, or by buying bottled water once in Haiti (which is widely available and inexpensive by western standards.) Washing oneself with water from places such as creeks or lakes is not recommended due to the risk of water-borne diseases. Immunization shots are not required but come highly suggested. Go to your doctor's office or a local hospital or clinic about a month or so before your trip to find out what kinds of immunizations they would suggest.

Depending on your itinerary, you may have to walk a lot. Comfortable footwear is crucial for avoiding blisters. Hiking boots are recommended as well as comfortable sandals.

 

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