Benin Health Care and Vaccinations
* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required by all travellers over one year of age. Risk occurs in all rural areas, but especially in Atakora and Borgou.
Medical facilities are limited, especially outside the major towns, and not all medicines are available. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Medical insurance is strongly recommended.
Food and Drink
All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid all dairy products. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Hepatitis E is widespread. Hepatitis B is hyperendemic. Hepatitis C occurs. Meningococcal meningitis is a risk, depending on the area and the time of year. Immunisation against hepatitis B, tuberculosis and meningococcal A and C is sometimes recommended. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. The hot, dusty, windy environmental conditions in November and December may exacerbate respiratory problems. HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.