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Health Advice

The US Center For Disease Control maintains an updated list of medical advice for those traveling to Uganda

The CDC recommends being up to date with all your regular shots. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot

They also suggest being vaccinated for hepatitis A. There is also some advice about protection for hepatitis B and rabies – but this depends to some degree on where you are heading and what you are doing.

Additionally, malaria, yellow fever, zika virus, chikungunya virus and dengue fever are a risk in Uganda so avoiding being bitten by mosquitos is advised. Also, ticks can carry diseases so when going through forested areas or long grass protect yourself by wearing long trousers and shirts. Tsetse flies carry diseases and there are no effective repellents so the same precautions as for ticks are the best prevention.

Healthcare

Access to medical care in Uganda is very limited, especially outside of Kampala, the capital city. The health care provided by the country’s medical facilities remains of poor quality. The main hospital in Uganda is the Mulago Hospital, located in the capital. It is only suitable for basic medical care. In the event of serious medical issues, an air evacuation to another country is indispensable.

There are no satisfying emergency services in Uganda.

Pharmacies are few in the country and they only sell basic medicines, not always of reliable quality. Be sure to bring your own medical supplies in sufficient quantities when travelling to Uganda, especially if you require specific treatments.

Food Safety

Only eat food that is cooked and served hot. Eat fruits and vegetables that you have personally washed in clean water or peeled yourself. Never eat food sold by street vendors. Only drink boiled water that is sealed and has been filtered and disinfected. Prefer carbonated drinks, hot coffee or tea, and pasteurized milk.

Safety

The volatile situation in the eastern part of the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could lead to possible incursions into western Uganda by DRC rebels.

Western Uganda also has a history of inter-ethnic violence.

Armed banditry, car thefts, muggings and kidnappings occur throughout Uganda and foreigners have been targeted.

Petty crime, including pickpocketing, purse and jewellery snatching and theft from hotel rooms and vehicles, occurs regularly.

If attacked, don’t resist, as offering resistance may result in violence.

Armed robberies are perpetrated against pedestrians, even during daytime.

Armed robberies also occur along roadways, particularly at night.

Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times, windows closed and personal belongings, including handbags, safely stored.

Don’t leave items such as laptops and briefcases in unattended vehicles
Don’t display jewellery or electronics when walking
Remain vigilant when using public transportation or walking along deserted streets
Avoid walking and driving at night
Taxi and matatu (minibus) operators have robbed their passengers and stranded them far from their destination. Avoid taking taxis or matatus that have only one or two passengers, and ensure that your personal belongings are secure at all times when using public transportation.

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