Medical & Insurance for Trekkers
Health Care in Kathmandu Valley
Health care services in Kathmandu Valley are sound. All kinds of medicines, including those imported from overseas are available in Kathmandu. Kathmandu Valley also offers the services of major general hospitals and private clinics. Health posts have been set up by the Government in different parts of rural Nepal. For major health crisis or emergency, one may have to be evacuated to Kathmandu.
A simple but adequate medical kit can be very useful while traveling. The following items are recommended: Aspirin of Panadol, for pain or fever; Antihistamine, as a decongestant for colds, allergies and to help prevent motion sickness; Antibiotics, useful if traveling off beaten track but they must be prescribed; Kaolin preparation (Pepto-Bismol), Imodium or Lomotil, for upset stomach; Rehydration mixture – for treatment of severe diarrhea; Antiseptic, mercurochrome and antibiotic powder or similar dry spray- for cuts and grazes.
Other things to be included are: Calamine lotion to ease irritation from bites or stings; bandages and band aids for minor injuries; scissors, tweezers, thermometer, insect repellent, sun block lotions, chopsticks, water purification tablets, throat lozenges, moleskin, Sulamyd 10 percent eye drops, paracetamol and antacid tablets.
Sickness (Altitude Sickness/AMS) in Mountain
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is another name of Altitude Sickness. This occurs when your body cannot obtain sufficient amounts of oxygen from the air that you breathe to allow normal bodily functions. As the altitude increases, the percentage of oxygen in the air reduces, making any physical problems one may be experiencing even more severe.
Prevention and treatment altitude sickness
If you begin to suffer at moderate altitude sickness, do not go higher until symptoms decrease and consider reducing your altitude. If you ascend with moderate symptoms, your problems will remain and are likely to become more severe.
Medicine: Diamox or Acetazolamide
Diamox or Acetazolamide tablets are generally used by trekkers. They help the body to adjust to increased levels of carbon dioxide due to the higher altitude.
The Gamow Bag
The Gamow Bag can be described as an inflatable sleeping bag. Once the altitude sickness sufferer is put inside, it is sealed and inflated to a concentration of oxygen of a lower altitude (1000 to 1,500 metres). A two-hour treatment allows the trekker’s body to feel as though it is at a lower altitude for up to twelve hours, allowing the patient to descend comfortably to lower altitudes.