Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

A stay abroad requires every traveler to take certain health precautions. The section below mentions the essential pointers. However, these instructions do not exempt the traveler from a pre-departure consultation with their attending physician and/or at a hospital center specializing in travel medicine (and this sufficiently before departure to allow, if necessary, vaccination reminders).

Before you leave

Hospitalization costs and healthcare expenses

To cover hospitalization costs and sometimes very high healthcare expenses abroad, it is strongly recommended to have an assistance contract or a safe allowing to cover all medical expenses (surgery, hospitalization, etc.) and medical repatriation, under the risk of not having access to care, including in the event of a life-threatening emergency. These costs cannot, under any circumstances, be covered by the French embassy or local consulates general.

In Niamey, medical infrastructure is limited. Two private establishments can be recommended: Gamkalley Clinic: +227 20 73 20 33; Kaba Clinic: +227 20 73 21 08 and +227 20 73 26 52. Medical evacuation capabilities are very limited outside the capital. In case of surgical operations, repatriation to France is strongly recommended.

Recommendations for your health

If necessary, consult your doctor or an international vaccination center to assess your health status and benefit from health recommendations, particularly regarding vaccination. Possibly consult your dentist before departure.

Build your personal pharmacy properly and take only the medicines you need; Never consume medicines purchased on the street (risk of counterfeiting). For more information, see the fact sheet Practical information.

Vaccinations

  • Yellow fever is endemic and vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory (to be carried out before departure at an accredited center).
  • It is recommended to update your vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and polio (DTP). Given the increase in measles cases, updating the rubella-mumps-measles (MMR) vaccine is strongly recommended.
  • Vaccination against tuberculosis is also desirable.
  • Polio outbreak: WHO issued a warning about polio in Niger. Travelers who intend to travel to the country must ensure the validity of their vaccination;
  • Depending on local travel conditions, vaccinations against typhoid fever and viral hepatitis A and B may be recommended.
  • Niger recurrently suffers an epidemic of meningitis (presence of type W135) during the dry period (February to July). It is strongly recommended to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis A+C+Y+W135.
  • Rabies vaccination may also be offered in certain cases, depending on conditions and location of stay. Consult your doctor or an international vaccination center.

Health risks

Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes

Malaria

Malaria (or malaria) is a (potentially serious) parasitic disease transmitted by mosquito bites. There are two complementary ways of preventing malaria: protection against mosquitoes and drug treatment. Conventional mosquito protection measures are strongly recommended during the afternoon and evening (see below).

Regarding medication treatment, you should contact your doctor or a hospital specializing in travel medicine before departure. Treatment must be continued after returning to France, for a variable period depending on the product used.

During your stay, and during the two months following your return, in case of fever, you should quickly obtain medical advice to implement possible antimalarial treatment as quickly as possible.

Chikungunya – dengue

Transmission of chikungunya or dengue fever is possible. There is currently no preventive treatment for these diseases. Individual prevention is therefore essentially based on means of protection against mosquito bites (see below). In case of fever, medical advice should be sought immediately.

General preventive measures to protect yourself from mosquitoes:

  • Wear covered, loose, light and light-colored clothing;
  • Use skin repellent products: see the recommendations of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health (PDF – 78.3kb) andPastoral Institute (PDF – 1.21MB);
  • Protect your home (mosquito nets, electric diffusers, coils, air conditioning, etc.);
  • Destroy potential mosquito breeding sites (containers of stagnant water, such as saucers under flower pots, gutters, tires, etc.);
  • If indicated, be sure to take your malaria preventative regularly throughout your treatment.

Other diseases

Meningitis

It is advisable to be very careful when traveling to Niger and avoid traveling there with young children. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor before traveling to assess the need for vaccination against meningococcus (A,C,Y,W).

More information on the website of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health.

Rift Valley fever outbreak

Several cases of Rift Valley fever have been reported in the past in the Tahoua region of western Niger. Rift Valley fever is transmissible to humans through direct contact with contaminated animal blood or bodily fluids or indirectly through mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medicine to prevent Rift Valley fever. To reduce the risk of contracting this potentially serious disease, it is recommended to avoid contact with raw animal products, ensure that food is sufficiently cooked (especially milk) and carefully protect yourself from mosquito bites, day and night.

Lung infections

Travelers’ attention is drawn to the frequency of lung diseases and infections in relation to the condition of air conditioning and heating equipment. If you are unsure about the quality of these devices, it is highly recommended to turn them off at night and use fans. If breathing problems arise, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor.

Cholera

Cholera is a digestive bacterial infection transmitted by eating undercooked food (e.g. seafood) or unclean food (fruits and vegetables) and drinking contaminated water. People who show signs of the disease (watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever and general weakness) should consult a doctor urgently. Precautions for use are recommended (see food hygiene).

More information about the Pasteur Institute website.

Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease linked to salmonella. Symptoms include high fever and digestive problems and require urgent medical consultation as serious complications are possible. Prevention is based on vaccination, which is recommended, and care related to food hygiene.

HIV – STD virus infection

With regard to sexually transmitted infections, it is recommended to take all the usual precautions in this area and avoid risky behavior.

Some simple rules

  • Avoid swimming in stagnant water (risk of parasitic infection);
  • Avoid walking barefoot on sand and wet floors;
  • Stay away from dead animals, animals and their excrement;
  • Do not approach stray animals and dogs (risk of bites and rabies); do not pet the animals found;
  • Ensure road safety (use of seat belts, use of helmets on two-wheeled vehicles);
  • Never take medicines purchased on the street.

Food hygiene measures

In the capital, Niamey, local authorities consider that running water meets recommended health standards. However, protect yourself from digestive or contact contamination:

  • Wash your hands regularly with hydroalcoholic washing solutions, especially before and after meals and when using the bathroom;
  • Ensure the quality of food and especially its correct cooking;
  • Avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked food products (fish, meat, poultry, milk);
  • Peel fruits or vegetables or wash them well (in clean water);
  • Avoid raw vegetables, shellfish, reheated dishes and cold buffets;
  • Drink only water or encapsulated drinks or water made drinkable (filtered, boiled or, failing that, disinfectant product);
  • Avoid ice cubes and ice cream, as well as consuming fresh fruit juices, raw vegetables and unpeeled fruits. Consume only pasteurized or boiled milk;
  • Avoid contact with sick people;
  • Respect basic hygiene rules and carefully clean kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.
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