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Health and Emergencies in Uganda

To stay healthy in Uganda, you should only drink bottled, boiled or treated water and avoid eating any unpeeled fruits or vegetables. If you eat street food make sure that you buy it from a vendor that is busy and has a high turnover of food to ensure that it’s fresh, and watch that the food is cooked in front of you.

Uganda has a high risk of malaria and you should take antimalarial medication and prevent mosquito bites by using repellent on your skin and clothes, wear long trousers and shirts in the early morning and evenings and sleep under a mosquito net.

There’s a risk of contracting dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus in Uganda. All three illnesses are transmitted by mosquitos but there are no preventative medications for them. Again, try to prevent mosquito bites as best you can.

There’s also a risk of contracting bilharzia – a parasitic disease transmitted by freshwater snails. Avoid swimming or wading in any fresh water (a hotel swimming pool is safe).

Health Care System

Uganda has both public and private healthcare facilities. Public healthcare facilities are understaffed and lack medical equipment and drugs. If you have a health problem or medical emergency you should visit a private clinic or hospital, where you’ll need to pay for your treatment and then get reimbursed by your travel insurance.

Medical Emergencies

If your medical emergency is not serious, then get to the closest town and try to find a private clinic or hospital. For more serious emergencies, unless you’re in Kampala and can reach a private clinic, then you need to contact a medical evacuation service (such as MAF on +256 772 777 208) which will transport you by plane to the closest private hospital for treatment.

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