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Ghana (Africa)

Advice for All Destinations Immunisations Malaria Malaria Map Other Health Risks News

Advice for All Destinations

The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities abroad, length of stay and general health of the traveller. It is recommended that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

All travellers going overseas with medication (including over the counter medications) should check if there are any restrictions on medications they intend to take prior to travel. Check with individual country Embassies via this linkLink

Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. UK travellers visiting other European Union countries should also carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as it entitles travellers to reduced cost, sometimes free, medical treatment in most European countries. Online applicationsLink normally arrive within seven days. Applications may also be made by telephone on 0300 330 1350 or by post using the form which can be downloaded from the websiteLink

For Travel Safety Advice you should visit the UK Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeLink website.

A worldwide list of clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel MedicineLink is available on the ISTM website.

Immunisations

  • Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, seasonal flu vaccine (if indicated), MMR, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
  • Courses or boosters usually advised: Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Yellow Fever.
  • Other vaccines to consider: Diphtheria; Hepatitis B; Meningococcal Meningitis; Rabies; Typhoid.
  • Selectively advised vaccines - only for those individuals at highest risk: Cholera.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required from travellers over 9 months of age.

Notes on the diseases mentioned above

  • Cholera spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. It would be unusual for travellers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.

    Risk is higher during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water.

    Risk is highest for humanitarian aid workers; those working in refugee camps or slums; those caring for people with cholera.

  • Diphtheria spread person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.
  • Hepatitis A spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.

    Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.

    Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.

  • Hepatitis B spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.

    Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.

    Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.

  • Meningococcal Meningitis spread by droplet infection through close person to person contact. Meningococcal disease is found worldwide but epidemics may occur within this country, particularly during the dry season. Risk is higher for those mixing with locals for extended periods.
  • Rabies spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, and also cats and bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children.All travellers should avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic) particularly dogs and cats. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
  • Tetanus spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
  • Typhoid spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
  • Yellow Fever spread by the bite of an infected, day-biting mosquito. The disease is mainly found in rural areas of affected countries but outbreaks in urban areas do occur. Vaccination is usually recommended for all those who travel into risk areas. View yellow fever risk areas here. In addition, certain countries may want to see proof of vaccination on an official yellow fever vaccination certificate - check above under Immunisations.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes.You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.

Malaria precautions

Malaria Map
  • Malaria risk is high throughout the year in all areas.
  • Malaria precautions are essential. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets.
  • See malaria map –  additional information can be found by clicking on the Regional Information icon below the map.
  • High risk areas: atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is usually advised.
  • If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
  • If travelling to an area remote from medical facilities, carrying standby emergency treatment for malaria may be considered.

Other Health Risks

Schistosomiasis

A parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia) that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin and prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams. For further information see Schistosomiasis

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