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HEALTH IN JORDAN

Health issues in Jordan: health situation and recommendations

When taking such a long trip, it is essential to know the hygiene and health conditions of the destination country. Therefore, in these lines, we will tell you everything you need to know about health in Jordan: hospitals, vaccines, potential risks during the tour, useful tips, etc.

Table of Contents

Diseases and Possible Vaccinations

Jordan is a very safe country in terms of health: there are no declared health alerts related to contagious or high-risk diseases. Therefore, the current (as of September 2022) vaccination recommendations are reasonable and common sense. The following is the list of vaccines developed by the Spanish Association of Vaccinology:

  • Yellow fever: mandatory for travelers from a country where this disease is endemic
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis: recommended (regardless of traveling to this country)
  • Triple Viral: recommended (regardless of traveling to this country)
  • Hepatitis A: recommended Hepatitis B: recommended for certain special travelers
  • Typhoid fever: recommended for certain special travelers
  • Rabies: recommended for certain special travelers
  • Flu: recommended for certain special travelers
  • Pneumococcal: recommended for certain special travelers.
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Pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers in Jordan

The overall level of hospitals and health centers in Jordan is good, especially in big cities and particularly in the capital, Amman. Private centers are usually better equipped with good resources and professionals, often trained abroad and fluent in English. This is also true for dentists. Pharmacies are generally well-stocked with medications and distributed throughout the population, with sufficient presence in tourist areas, so their workers also speak some English.

Is it advisable to take out travel insurance?

Yes. In fact, it is mandatory due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In any case, even if it were not mandatory, it is highly recommended to have your back covered in case of an emergency. The most useful and basic coverages are payment to local professionals (either through exemption or reimbursement upon return from the trip) as well as repatriation treatments or services.

Main health risks in Jordan

Some factors such as climate, local fauna or hygiene levels in certain places can pose potential health risks in Jordan. They are not alarming, but it is advisable to be aware of them in order to act with caution, as we explain in the section on Tips.

Heat and sunstroke: the main enemies

As we mentioned on the climate page, heat is one of the environmental factors to take into account during your trip. In summer, it conditions everything, so you must equip yourself adequately to combat it. The main problems that heat can trigger are exhaustion, dizziness, dehydration and, in the worst case, heat stroke, which involves a malfunction of the body’s own thermoregulation system: body temperature increases excessively, causing loss of consciousness or even death.

Related to the heat is also sunstroke, which is extreme in desert areas and during the summer season. It can catalyze the aforementioned problems and can also cause skin burns, vomiting, headaches, and eye pain, among others.

Water: care for sensitive stomachs

In general, tap water quality is acceptable in tourist frequented areas, and even in certain areas in the south, as it comes directly from natural springs. However, sensitive stomachs may notice and experience the change in water, which in some cases may result in diarrhea.

Mosquitoes and bedbugs: annoying travel companions

Another health risk in Jordan is insects, especially mosquitoes, which can appear at night, for example, in Bedouin tents in the desert. In the vast majority of cases, these unwelcome travel companions can cause annoying bites, but not the transmission of diseases. On the other hand, the itching sensation can be even greater and annoying if you encounter bedbugs, which can inhabit the beds of the most humble (and less concerned with hygiene) accommodations.

Exotic and dangerous animals: snakes and scorpions

More respect should be given to certain exotic animals because they pose a greater health risk. In Jordan, there are snakes, some of them poisonous, such as the Atractaspis engaddensis, also known in English as the Israel Mole Viper. In case of a bite, there will be pain and swelling, and it is recommended to immobilize and bandage the affected area and then seek medical attention.

On the other hand, scorpions can also appear in certain areas, such as Little Petra. It is the species Leiurus quinquestriatus, also known as the yellow scorpion or Palestinian yellow scorpion, and its bites will also cause intense pain, although its venom is not lethal, except in vulnerable people, such as those with heart problems or allergies.

Tips for your health in Jordan

Here is a list of some useful tips for taking care of your health in Jordan:

  • Protect yourself from sunstroke: don’t forget to wear a hat or cap to protect your head, sunglasses to protect your eyes, and lightweight, long-sleeved clothing to protect your skin. It’s important to apply high-factor sunscreen to any exposed skin.
  • Drink bottled water whenever possible as a preventive measure against potential food poisoning.
  • Carry water purification tablets with you. They can come in handy when you don’t have bottled water on hand. Stay well hydrated at all times by drinking water before you feel thirsty.
  • Always carry a small travel first aid kit. Although there are numerous pharmacies in the country, there are also vast uninhabited areas where you won’t have access to them, particularly on desert excursions. Your kit should include:
    • Paracetamol
    • Antibacterial ointment
    • Antidiarrheals
    • Insect repellent for the body
    • Insect repellent for clothing
    • Antihistamines
    • Water purification tablets
    • Sunscreen
    • If you have a chronic illness, a significant allergy, or require specific medication on a daily basis, carry a written document proving it, signed by a specialist and in English, so that it can be read by a doctor if necessary. It is recommended to keep a copy in the cloud.

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