Democratic Republic Of The Congo Travel Health Advice
Yellow fever vaccination is a requirement for entry for everyone over one year old, and vaccinations against cholera, meningitis, typhoid and polio are highly recommended. Large numbers of cases of acute watery diarrhoeal syndrome have been reported in North Kivu province (east DRC) since September 2008. In many instances these have been fatal. In areas of poor sanitation it is not advisable to drink water unless it has been treated by boiling and filtration or with a chemical purifier. There is a significant malaria risk throughout the country, and advice should be sought in advance about preventive measures. HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Rabies is endemic to the DRC, and monkeypox occurs, which is a virus usually transmitted to humans from infected ground squirrels and rodents. Regular outbreaks of pneumonic plague also occur, particularly in the district of Ituri, and is fatal if left untreated. An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus occurred in September 2007 and again in July 2012.
The Centre Prive d'Urgence (CPU) clinic in Kinshasa is able to cope with basic health problems and to stabilise a patient after serious accidents. However, medical evacuation to South Africa (or elsewhere) would be advised as soon as possible. Outside Kinshasa, western standard medical facilities are practically non-existent. Visitors are advised to take their own basic medical supplies with them, as medicines are in short supply. Medical insurance with provision for emergency air evacuation is essential for visitors. All water should be regarded as contaminated, and milk is unpasteurised, therefore consume only imported bottled water and avoid dairy products.
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