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Uganda Health Care and Vaccinations

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

* Yellow fever outbreaks occur occasionally, and an international health certificate showing proof of vaccination is advised, especially if you are travelling to another country from Uganda.

Health Care

Visitors should bring personal supplies of medicines that are likely to be needed, but enquire first at the embassy or high commission whether such supplies may be freely imported. Comprehensive health insurance is essential and should include cover for emergency air repatriation in case of serious accident or illness. The Ugandan health service has still not recovered from the mass departure of foreign personnel in 1972 and there are medical facilities of a reasonable standard only in large towns and cities.

Food and Drink

All water should be regarded as being a potential health risk. 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 dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other Risks

HIV/AIDS is widespread. Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes advised. After road accidents, malaria is the most serious health concern for travellers visiting Uganda. Seek up-to-date advice regarding malarial areas and the appropriate antimalarial medication prior to your trip, usually doxycycline, Malarone or mefloquine. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to malaria and are advised against travel to regions where malaria is present. Take a good insect repellant and try to avoid bites between dusk and dawn by always covering up.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK also reports regular outbreaks of a wide range of serious diseases in Uganda, including cholera, Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF), Marburg haemorrhagic fever (MHF) meningococcal disease (meningitis A and W) and hepatitis E.