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Vietnam is becoming one of the most attractive areas in Southeast Asia for Expats to settle. With both its fast developing economy and low-cost of living, many people are choosing the big cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi as their home. Unfortunately, over the last few years, many of the expats living in Vietnam have noticed the effects of air pollution and it is becoming a common topic amongst expats living in Vietnam.

Air Quality Indicator Figures ( AQI)

The latest AQI (Air Quality Indicator figures) have reached over 200 recently which is very hazardous to our health. Sadly, with all the development around Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, air pollution is not going away, but will likely continue to get worse as time goes on.

With ever increasing healthcare costs, selecting the correct health insurance policy is vital to protect you and your family from having to pay exuberant costs if you suffer from a medical condition caused by air pollution.

What are the health risks from Air pollution in Vietnam?

Various scientific studies have connected the size of air particles to the potential of causing various health-related problems. High levels of toxic PM2.5 – particles that are 2.5 microns or less in width – are small enough to travel deep into the lungs, and it’s these fine particulate matter that has been linked to short and long term health effects.

Epidemiological studies from the last few decades have contributed to the understanding of the different levels of susceptibility to air pollution. Certain groups of people, such as the elderly and children, are more susceptible to the health risks posed by air pollutants than others.  Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health of people in these categories.

Short term health effects

The short term, temporary effects of exposure to high levels of air pollution include the following, which many of us have experienced living here in Vietnam:

  • Nagging cough and sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, skin, nose, and throat
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing

For these types of symptoms, you’d first go see a general practitioner, which is an outpatient visit.  Many times these types of symptoms require multiple visits, especially if the symptoms are still present after you’ve been prescribed medication.


Long-term health effects

The ongoing long-term effects of air pollution may last for many years or a person’s lifetime, and may even lead to death. According to the World Health Organization, outdoor air pollution is a major cause of death and disease worldwide. The health effects range from increased hospital admissions and ER room visits, to increased risk of premature death. An estimated 3 million premature deaths globally are linked to air pollution, heart disease, stroke,etc and some of these harmful long-term health effects include:

  • Respiratory conditions such as asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Several types of cancer, e.g. lung cancer
  • Some scientists believe air pollutants cause birth defects.

With such a wide range of harmful health effects caused by air pollution, it’s important that you have adequate health insurance if you plan on living in Vietnam for the medium to long term.

Fortunately, there are various health insurance plans available in the market for all budgets and preferences that protect you from out of pocket expenses related to air pollution + a wide variety of other risks.

Tenzing Pacific Insurance Services, works with many different insurance providers to provide our clients a transparent consultation & comparison of quotes for plans that suit their needs & budget.

Get in touch

If you would like to have a confidential conversation with a Tenzing Pacific Insurance adviser about how to get Insurance, contact us today to:

  • Understand how much benefit you need
  • Discuss options available to you
  • Find the best plan for your needs