Health and insurance

Vaccination and medication

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.

Make sure your Yellow Fever vaccination is up to date before arriving in Uganda.

Visitors should bring personal supplies of medicines that are likely to be needed, but enquire first at the embassy or high commission whether such supplies may be freely imported.

Food and drink

All water should be regarded as being a potential health risk. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. Be sure to wash fresh produce well before eating and avoid raw foods in restaurants. Do not eat food prepared by unlicensed vendors or where you have concerns about kitchen hygiene. Only use boiled or bottled water, and avoid ice in drinks. Carry hand sanitizer to use before meals.

Other risks

HIV/AIDS is widespread. Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes advised. After road accidents, malaria is the most serious health concern for travellers visiting Uganda. Seek up-to-date advice regarding malarial areas and the appropriate antimalarial medication prior to your trip, usually doxycycline, Malarone or mefloquine. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to malaria and are advised against travel to regions where malaria is present. Take a good insect repellant and try to avoid bites between dusk and dawn by always covering up.

Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers have been endemic within certain regions of the country. The vectors of these viruses are unknown, but have been thought to be linked with bats. Therefore, travelers should avoid (or be extremely cautious when) entering any caves. If you are bitten by an animal, assume that the animal was infected by a disease and seek prompt medical attention.

Remember, that many of the lakes have Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia). Check with the locals and do not paddle on the lake shore if you’re not sure. However, if you do get infected, about which you won’t know until 1-2 months after contact with water, visit your family doctor or hospital.

Diarrhea disease and intestinal worms are also a concern and travelers should be careful what they eat or drink.

Travel health insurance

Medical facilities in Uganda are limited. Medical help at the scene of an accident is likely to be limited. In the case of serious accident or illness, evacuation by air ambulance may be required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.