Sierra Leone Travel Health Advice
Sierra Leone is one of three countries that has been at the heart of the Ebola outbreak in previous years, causing serious alarm in West Africa. While the WHO declared the end of the Ebola outbreak at the end of 2015, a new confirmed case was reported in January 2016. Travellers are advised to familiarise themselves with the disease and current health and travel advice for the country before travelling to Sierra Leone. Some travel restrictions may be in place due to the Ebola outbreak.
Health policies require that all travellers arriving from a yellow fever area have a vaccination certificate, but yellow fever is a risk throughout the country and immunisation is recommended for all visitors. Other recommended vaccinations include Hepatitis A, typhoid, rabies and polio. Malaria and dengue fever are high risks and precautions against mosquito bites are advised, as well as prophylaxis for malaria, which occurs throughout the year. As of mid-2014, there has been an outbreak of ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone resulting in roughly 400 deaths; visitors are advised to stay away from Kailahun District in the eastern region of the country. Outbreaks of Lassa fever is endemic in the east. HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Diarrhoea and dysentery are common complaints and water should be treated before drinking. Cholera is also a concern. Travellers should bring adequate supplies of personal medication to the country, as supplies are often not available in pharmacies. Medical care is limited in Freetown and almost non-existent elsewhere. An emergency hospital is located near Freetown, but the bad road makes it difficult to get there; there is no ambulance service in the country. Comprehensive travel insurance is advised, which includes emergency evacuation.
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