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Africa Health Advice

Stay informed and be prepared

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If you are planning on travelling to Africa, we recommend you take out travel insurance for medical and repatriation costs. In some countries such as South Africa, there are few healthcare facilities in rural areas, but the cities have good-quality hospitals and also private clinics, which can be very expensive.

Which vaccines do you need to visit Africa?

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Vaccination should be scheduled depending on your destination in Africa. If you are going to sub-Saharan Africa, yellow fever vaccination is mandatory in most countries. Meningitis vaccination is highly recommended for certain savannah areas and the Sahel: west of Senegal, east of Ethiopia and north of Cameroon, etc.

Depending on the duration, frequency and hygiene conditions of travel, vaccination may be recommended for:

  • Typhoid fever,
  • Hepatitis A and B,
  • Tuberculosis,
  • Rabies.


You may also be required to be up to date with certain vaccines, particularly for diphtheria-tetanus-poliomyelitis (DTP) and measles.

Preventing infectious and parasitic diseases in Africa

Malaria is present throughout sub-Saharan Africa. It is also possible for mosquitoes to pass on dengue, chikungunya and Zika (especially in Cape Verde). Protective measures are therefore required:

  • Mosquito repellent (creams or sprays),
  • Mosquito nets,
  • Full-length clothing, etc.


Medicinal treatments suited to each traveller are also recommended. Tuberculosis also affects some countries. Therefore, before boarding your flight from Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport, make sure that young children in particular have had their BCG vaccination. Hygiene precautions must also be taken to prevent catching infectious diseases such as cholera, or simple traveller's diarrhoea, which occur in certain countries: drink bottled mineral water, wash your hands often, do not eat raw food, etc.

Note that Ebola is also present in some African countries, as well as cases of bird flu and Coronavirus (Northern Africa): contact with animals should be avoided.

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