World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Ghana

Ghana Health Care and Vaccinations

Title Special precautions
Yellow Fever Yes*
Typhoid Yes
Tetanus Yes
Rabies Sometimes
Malaria Yes
Hepatitis A Yes
Diphtheria Yes

* A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required by all travellers.

Health Care

Health insurance is essential, preferably with cover for emergency evacuation. Medical facilities exist in all the regional capitals as well as in most towns and villages. Emergency medical facilities are extremely limited. If you do require urgent medical attention, the best facilities by far are in Accra.

Food and Drink

Water sources should generally be regarded as being potentially contaminated, and water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Inexpensive sachets and bottles of purified water are readily available throughout the country. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other Risks

The most serious and widespread health risk is malaria, which might be contracted anywhere in the country at any time of year, but is most prevalent in the rainy season, close to the wetlands where the mosquitoes that carry it breed. All visitors should take some sort of malaria prophylactic, which greatly reduces the risk of catching this potentially fatal disease (but doesn't eliminate it entirely), and those spending a long time in the country might also think about carrying a cure. Covering up at dusk and spraying exposed skin with insect repellent also reduces the bite rate.  

Other risks include cholera, outbreaks of which occasionally occur both in cities and in rural areas. Diarrhoeal diseases, including giardiasis, are common. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. Hepatitis E is widespread. Hepatitis B is endemic. Hepatitis C occurs, as do dengue fever and tuberculosis. Epidemics of meningitis and meningococcal disease may occur throughout tropical Africa, particularly in the savannah areas and during the dry season. Those visiting beaches should be aware that swimming can be dangerous due to riptides.

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