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Malaysia - Health Risks, Inoculations, Vaccinations and Health Certificates

Life as an expat in Malaysia brings health risks due to the location of the country. However, these can be treated efficiently if medical attention is sought early. There’s also acclimatizing to contend with. There are vaccination recommendations which are necessary particularly if you need to claim on your medical insurance.

Health Risks in Malaysia

Malaria – This is more common in forested areas and where there water. There are rare cases of malaria in urban areas. So if you’re in a major city then you shouldn’t be susceptible to the disease which is carried by female mosquitoes. If you experience symptoms then a local health clinic is the place where you can seek medical advice. Treatments for malaria are swift and fairly efficient.


The change in climate, water and stress can cause diarrhea. It’s important to take plenty of fluids if this occurs as the heat and the loss of fluids can cause dehydration. If you experience dizziness or extreme symptoms then seek medical assistance as soon as possible. For the most part, diarrhea does clear.

Dog Bites

There is a stray dog problem in Malaysia and a dog bite can be nasty. It’s always best not to feed stray dogs. If you’re bitten by a dog then it’s important to get checked out at a health clinic.


There have been outbreaks in recent years of leptospirosis. This is a disease which is contracted by water contaminated by the urine of animals. Flooding can kick-start this disease. Symptoms include headache, conjunctivitis, fever and chills. There can be symptoms such as muscle spasm. While this sounds frightening most people are not considered at high risk from this. If you suspect you have been exposed to contaminated water then it is important you seek medical advice urgently, if only to rule out the disease.


It is not compulsory on entry to have vaccines. If you’re relocating for work purposes then your work policy may demand that certain vaccinations are compulsory. Most people have the following vaccines for travel and emigration purposes.

- Hepatitis A

- Yellow Fever

- Measles, Mumps & Rubella (if you were born between 1956 & 1970 – due to only being one vaccine)

- Rabies – Recommended for people who spend regular periods of time outdoors.

The above are recommended vaccines. There are no compulsory laws. It is advised by the Malaysian Ministry of Health that these vaccinations are administered.

Regular Prescription Drugs

Malaysia has strict laws on narcotics. If you’re on regular medication then it is advisable to carry a certificate by a Malaysian doctor verifying this is the case. If you’re bringing prescription drugs into the country then it is compulsory that you have a medical certificate verifying your condition and your prescription list.

Entry to Malaysia Requirements

It is advisable prior to leaving your native country that you have a visit with your doctor to arrange vaccinations and have a medical health check. Carrying a medical certificate from your own doctor detailing all prescriptions, vaccines and other health conditions is beneficial for when you register with a health clinic. If you have ongoing or chronic health problems it is likely you’ll have had a health check for insurance purposes, however, protecting yourself is vital.


There’s a lot to take in when dealing with a foreign country and their healthcare services. It is vital that information is current and you understand fully the implications of health needs in Malaysia. While Malaysia has excellent standards of healthcare, it is vital that you’re furnished with facts of where and who to contact.

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