3 most common deadly illnesses in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a tropical region. And as such, you may think the most common, serious diseases people are afflicted with here all relate to the climate. The tropics are, of course, home to some very unique diseases that are not found in much of the western world. With that said, are they the most common?

To find out, we interviewed author and medical expert Dr. Lalande; and what we discovered was surprising. While we assumed diseases unique to Southeast Asia would be the most common reason for critical medical treatment, the reality is far different. The majority of deadly diseases here are similar to that of Europe, North America and Oceania. Below are the top 3 critical illnesses in Southeast Asia.

Thailand health insurance plans 101: What are your options?

Whether you’re a Thai local or expat, health insurance plans in the Land of Smiles can be confusing. As a local, you may be unaware of the benefits offered to you as a citizen. And as an expat, you may be unsure of what insurance to buy, or whether or not you even need a policy. To clear up the confusion, we developed a list of some of Thailand’s most common types of health insurance and who typically applies for them. Here’s what you need to know.

The 3 biggest reasons young expats in Asia visit the ER

As a young person, you probably think your health is nothing to worry about. You feel great, rarely get sick and recover easily from a night out. The truth is, you’re right. Young people are typically less likely to fall ill than older people and children. When you’re in your late teens and twenties, your health is in its prime, and it’s easy to think you’re invincible. But that’s not to say accidents don’t happen. We consulted author and medical expert Dr. Lalande to find out the most common reasons 18 – 24 year old expats in Asia are admitted to the emergency room. Here’s what we discovered.

Record setting traffic fatalities
Asia is home to some of the deadliest roads on earth. According to Dr. Lalande and the World Health Organization’s 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, Thailand has the second highest amount of traffic fatalities in the entire world—with 36.2 deaths per 100,000 people per year. Not far behind are Myanmar (20.3 deaths per 100K), Sri Lanka (17.4 per 100K) and Nepal (17 per 100K).

Not surprisingly, motorbike accidents make up a huge percentage of these fatalities. And when it comes to young expats, it’s incredibly easy to jump on a motorbike in Asia without giving it a second thought. Throughout the region, two-wheelers can often be rented without showing a driver’s license, which means a driver with little to no experience can take to the roads. The results, however, can be catastrophic. According to Asian Correspondent, 73% of Thailand’s traffic related deaths involve motorbikes.

The potential effects of excessive drinking
Undoubtedly, many enjoy the legendary nightlife scenes of Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and other exciting Asian destinations; the result is the second most common reason young expats end up in the emergency room: excessive drinking. Alcohol poisoning is common, as are the antisocial byproducts of excessive alcohol consumption, such as a propensity for violence and drunk driving.

It should be noted that excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to poor decisions, such as unprotected sex. While this most likely won’t cause a young person to make a trip to the ER, many Asian countries have an alarmingly high rate of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. And contracting an STD can shorten or reduce a person’s quality of life.

Asia’s most common date rape drug
While being drugged in a bar or club can happen in any part of the world, in Asia it’s the third leading cause for young expat emergency room treatment. The intent of such an incident is typically to steal from or rape the drugged person.

Rohypnol, also known as Flunitrazepam, is one of the most common drugs used to disinhibit a victim. As this sedative is often prescribed as a cure for severe insomnia, it has a powerful effect. When combined with alcohol, the drug can depress the respiratory system, cause the person to stop breathing, and even stop the heart.

When it comes to young expats, many further put themselves at risk by not purchasing insurance. While drinking alcohol or consciously participating in risky activities can void many health insurance benefits, a policy can be a lifesaver in the event of an automobile accident—which can easily cost 15 – 30 thousand dollars in medical expenses. A LUMA health insurance plan can ensure you get the proper treatment for a speedy recovery while protecting your financial future. Contact us today at consult@lumahealth-prod.loc to learn more how we can help safeguard your health.