Thousands of tourists make their way to Fiji every month, and so it is important that this popular island-nation make sure to take good care of its visitors, as well as its residents. Compared with other leading tropical summer destinations, Fiji is rather very safe health-wise. There have not been any serious concerns or incidences regarding one’s health in Fiji, although there are still prevailing concerns.
Located north of New Zealand and east of Australia, the tropical archipelago of Fiji is home to various disease-carrying mosquitoes. There are cases in remote areas in the archipelago of elephantiasis and dengue fever outbreaks. Foreign tourists may find mosquitoes and bugs appalling, but having them around is a way of life in tropical countries. It is best that tourists take care of themselves and not whine about the bugs, lest they offend the locals and dampen their own vacation. Mosquitoes should not spoil one’s vacation paradise. Fiji is much more beautiful than any tropical-bound irritations. Yet, dengue fever and elephantiasis are serious concerns, and so tourists should make sure to cover up, put on mosquito repellants, stay inside closed doors as much as possible, and avoid entering dark, damp, and deserted areas. Mosquitoes thrive in such places especially at dawn or dusk.
Another typical tropical island problem when vacationing is drinking water. Although tap water in Fiji is considered safe for drinking, it is still best for foreigners to chug bottled water or have the tap water filtered or boiled. While tap is safe, foreigners may not like the quality of Fijian water and could still cause discomfort and diarrhea. In more remote places around Fiji and with proper notification, some tap water sources are unclean and unsafe. Bottled water in local shops is very affordable, and so it is no problem stocking up.
Local food is also generally safe and clean, except of course when poisoned fish are accidentally caught and eaten. Food poisoning from fish causes tingling in lips and the entire body, as well as nausea and sensitivity to hot and cold.
Meanwhile, sun-related irritations, rashes and health problems are typical in tropical countries, including Fiji. Tourists experience skin-burns and irritations all the time. Also, bright sunrays bouncing off the crystal clear sea and white sands could hurt one’s eyes. Fortunately, this concern is quite easy to address. Vacationers could simply put on sun-block lotion and wear sunglasses and hats. Besides the rashes, simply staying under the sun for a prolonged period of time can be very irritating. It is good to take a shower whenever there is a chance.
The most common health-related problems in the Fijian Islands are drowning and motor vehicle accidents. Motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road, which is uncommon and even strange for American tourists. This potentially causes problems as tourists cross the streets while looking the other way.
Generally, the main towns in the cities of Viti Levu and Vanau Levu are equipped with very good hospitals and competent doctors, although waits may take longer in government-owned clinics and hospitals. The problem is in rural areas where there are no hospitals. For extreme emergency cases, patients are transported to New Zealand or Australia, which are about 4 hours away. Other than such rare emergency cases, health in Fiji for locals and tourists is pretty much covered.