Population: 163 million
Official language: Bengali
Time zone: Bangladesh Standard Time (BST)
Emergency #: 999/199
Vaccinations required: Yes
Risk of malaria: Yes
Some popular travel destinations in Bangladesh include Somapuri Vihara, Lowacherra National Park, Lalbagh Fort, Sadarghat and Kaptai Lake.
The standards for patient care and medical services in Bangladesh may differ from your home country. Bangladesh has both public and private health sectors. Medical care throughout the country does not meet international standards. Most of the country’s healthcare professionals work in privately-run clinics in major cities. However, the private sector is not well-regulated and healthcare practitioners may have limited formal training. The public sector lacks supplies and is understaffed with a shortage of physicians and a severe shortage of nurses. Healthcare in remote areas is extremely limited and most of the population relies on informal and unlicensed healthcare providers such as traditional healers and faith-based healers.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Bangladesh typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Due to limited healthcare services, medical evacuation to Thailand is common. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance and evacuation coverage to reimburse you and cover any additional medical costs. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Bangladesh.
Essential medications may be unavailable in hospitals and pharmacies, and special medications may be difficult to find. The country has a shortage of trained pharmacists and patients are rarely counselled on how to use their prescribed medication. There is limited regulation of medicines in Bangladesh so products may be expired or sub-standard. Avoid buying medications from markets or unlicensed pharmacies, as fake medication is a common concern.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Bangladesh's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review Bangladesh's regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Roads are poorly maintained and traffic can be chaotic, especially in major cities. Road rules are inconsistently followed and enforced. Vehicles used for public transportation are not maintained to safety standards. Although the national seat belt law only applies to drivers, all passengers should wear their seat belt for safety. Driving occurs on the left-hand side of the road.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Bangladesh. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:
IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in Bangladesh.