Burkina Faso Health & Medicines
Travelling through Burkina Faso is always going to be a trip across some arduous land. But like most African nations, travellers better be prepared for some health issues.
All the normal ‘nasties’ await your arrival, so it’s better to be prepared when it comes to staying healthy and fit.
Falling ill in West Africa is never a pleasant experience, so research what you are in for before you go…it’s always good to be over-prepared in these regions.
(Not only boil your own water, but carry your own too!)
Whatever you do, taking risks in Burkina Faso isn’t a good idea. Emergency health care can be non-existent in some regions.
The capital, Ouagadougou, does have ambulances and hospitals but areas outside the main city are definitely not the best equipped.
Short supply of emergency health can leave you stranded when you need it most.
And if they do get to you, ambulances in Burkina Faso or most countries in West Africa, are never going to be amazing.
Do yourself a favour and think carefully about what you do. Travelling in these areas means you need to think extra about the risks you are willing to take.
And so you know, medical evacuation can sometimes cost around US$100,000.
Medicines are another dilemma in Burkina. Similar to the ambulance situation, basic medical supplies aren’t always available.
The best advice is to grab what you need for your stay in the country…then pack extra. You can never carry to much medicine or simple first aid equipment. West Africa isn’t an easy travelling location, so prepare wisely.
Burkina follows the same disease path as most African nations.
It’s situated perfectly in the Meningitis Belt, so they aren’t diseases to be scoffed at. Safer than sorry should be your motto before touching down.
Meningitis is endemic in Burkina Faso, and cases are most frequent during the drier, dustier months of January through June. Travellers should confirm that their meningitis A, C, Y, W, 135 inoculations are up to date.
And to be honest, travelling while fit and healthy is better than being sick.
Malaria is also a constant problem in Burkina Faso…it’s a huge risk in most African nations. Best advice is to take anti-malaria tablets, and cover up at night.
Prevent being bitten by mosquitoes and you will stay healthy.
The other disease plaguing Burkina Faso is tuberculosis. This nasty disease may seem an ailment of the past, but it’s alive and well in various regions across Africa.
Not to scare travellers too much, but water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, cholera, yellow fever, hepatitis, bilharzia, measles and polio) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.
So be wise and get prepared…it may just keep you healthy.
Author: Phil Sylvester
Take care of your health
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