Common diseases in Zimbabwe - Health tips

Medical facilities in Zimbabwe are limited so it's worth staying healthy.

Zimbabwe like most African nations has a host of dangerous diseases.

Most are easy to avoid if you follow some basic rules, and the country isn't a lot more dangerous than most of its neighbours.

So any rules you hear below are pretty general for most of Southern and Eastern Africa.

If you are aware, you'll be safe and healthy.

Health Dangers

Water:

Zimbabwe has it all, so get ready for the checklist.

First rule, don't rush into any waterways, anywhere in Africa.

Swimming in lakes and rivers is unsafe because of the possibility of being attacked by wildlife and the risk of catching water-borne diseases such as bilharzia (schistosomiasis).

This is a constant threat throughout the continent.

And if you think you won't be attacked by any wildlife near rivers, you might want to re-think your trip.

Cholera:

Outbreaks of cholera, or other enteric diseases such as typhoid, can occur.

A severe cholera outbreak affected most of Zimbabwe between August 2008 and July 2009. Cholera deaths have decreased recently, although the disease is still present and may break out again with little warning.

We advise you to drink water only from known safe sources (eg bottled, chlorinated or boiled water) and to maintain strict hygiene standards while travelling in Zimbabwe.

Cholera can be prevented by being immunised before your trip.

Any travel doctor can help you out, so get sorted before you leave.

Mosquitoes:

Malaria is a risk in all areas except Harare and Bulawayo.

Other mosquito-borne diseases (including filariasis) are also prevalent in Zimbabwe.

Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, tuberculosis, measles, typhoid and rabies) are prevalent, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time.

Malaria is a major killer across Africa, and for the price of a $2 mosquito net, it's wise to protect yourself.

AIDS:

The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Zimbabwe is very high - 15% of the population has the virus. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.

Once the jewel of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe now finds itself in crisis. With the country's economy in tatters, and the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS.

Few Zimbabweans with HIV receive the treatment they need to survive, and few hospitals are equipped to provide adequate care. This means that up to 3,500 people die from AIDS-related illness each week.

Zimbabwe's Crumbling Health System

Zimbabwe's economy is almost non-existent. Bad government policies have decimated what was once a powerful country. This bad economic management is killing the nation's health system. Health services in Zimbabwe are extremely poor.

Public hospitals in Harare and other towns are experiencing shortages of staff, water, power, medicines and equipment. They are unlikely to offer treatment of certain illnesses or offer assistance in an accident or emergency.

Hygiene is very poor. The few private hospitals in Harare are also suffering from staff and resources limitations and are likely to require payments of up to US$2000 in cash notes before a patient is admitted.

Medical facilities outside Harare and Bulawayo are limited.

Medical supplies throughout Zimbabwe are very limited and some prescription medicines are not available (recently insulin) or are very expensive. In the event of a serious accident or illness, a medical evacuation to South Africa would be necessary, costing up to $25,000.

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3 Comments

  • dont go said

    guys just don't go it's a scary place ya'll

  • Okhai Femi said

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  • raul from cuba (the dictator) said

    poor Zimbabwe.
    Cuba is better than this, you hooligans.

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