Gambia, The

Made of a narrow strip following the Gambia river, the same-named country is the smallest nation on mainland Africa. Lying in the shade of its Senegalese surrounding neighbor, the tiny Gambia is a peaceful and safe nation which is truly worth a visit. Travelers are mainly coming in the Gambia for its lovely beaches, inviting the tourist to delightful lazy days of sunbathing. But the country also has traditional fishing villages, historic slaving stations and beautiful nature reserves. The Gambia river’s surrounding mangroves and dense forests are home to countless different bird species, a haven for ornithology enthusiasts.

INFORMATIONS ABOUT HEALTH

We make every effort to ensure that the information posted on our website is up to date and accurate according to the latest public health recommendations; however, it is impossible for us to make changes on a daily basis.

For the most current travel health recommendations, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.

GAMBIA, THE – RECOMMENDED VACCINES

Hepatitis A Recommended for all travelers.
Hepatitis B Recommended for all travelers.
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment – Typhoid fever Recommended for all travelers.
Tetanus – Diphteria – Pertussis Vaccine Tetanus: In exceptional circumstances (eg, stay in a region where access to health care is limited), for a person aged 18 years or older, 1 dose of DT may be given if 5 years or more has elapsed since the last dose. Otherwise, one booster dose at the age of 50*. Pertussis (Whooping Cough):  1 dose is recommended for pregnant women, for every pregnancy, regardless of immunization history and the interval since the last dose (betwen week 26 and 32). *Only applicable for Quebec.
Polio One-time booster recommended for any adult traveler who completed the childhood series but never had polio vaccine as an adult (after 18 years old only).
Measles – Rubella – Mumps Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1970, if not previously given.
Cholera For humanitarian workers and health care providers.
The Yellow Fever Vaccine A proof of vaccination against yellow fever may be required upon entry in to this country. Some travellers may not be eligible to receive this vaccine. Please enquire with your health care professional regarding your specific details. It is important to note that the vaccine should be administered at least 10 days prior to your departure. For further information, please consult with the World Health Organization (WHO) website: https://www.who.int/ith/ith-country-list.pdf
Meningitis Recommended for all travellers during the season(s). Consider immunization for specific groups or itineraries outside the dry season
Flu – Influenza Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing or by touching infected surfaces. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine yearly. Vaccine is recommended 14 days prior to departure.
Routine vaccines (dCaT, Polio, Meningococcal, Shingles, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, HPV, MMR & Varicella) Recommended for all travelers
African Tick Bite Fever Presence. All travellers should protect themselves against tick bites.
Transmission, Symptoms and Prevention – Rabies For travelers at high risk of animal bites or being involved in activities with bats, dogs and other mammals. Clients who plan to visit remote areas may consider receiving this vaccine. Important to note the pre-exposure rabies vaccine is administered in 2 doses with one week interval between doses. Post-exposure vaccination is always recommended, even for those previously vaccinated.
Schistosomiasis Avoid swimming in fresh water.
Turista – Traveler’s Diarrhea (ETEC) Talk to your health care professional about the risks and precautionary measures to take, as well as the Dukoral® vaccine. Important to note that the Dukoral vaccine is an oral vaccine given in 2 doses, recommended at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
Malaria Malaria is present in this country. The risk may be region specific. Prophylaxis measures to be discussed with the health care professional.
Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and/or Zika There are many illnesses that are transmitted via mosquito bites and unfortunately we do not have vaccines to protect us against most of them. It is important to inquire with your healthcare professional regarding the specific risks and the different illnesses presently in circulation.

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Antimalarials Recommended Malarone, Doxycycline or Mefloquine
Antibiotics Traveler’s Diarrhea Azithromycin or Suprax

MEDICAL CARES

The health care system in the Gambia is not good. The public medical infrastructure is very limited and desperately needs renovation. The Gambian people don’t even have correct access to the most basic health care. Some private hospitals providing care of satisfying quality can be found in the country, like the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital, located in Banjul, the capital. But the prices there are exorbitant.

In case of emergency in the Gambia in the capital city, call the Royal Victoria Hospital at (+220) 422.61.52 or the Medical Research Council at (+220) 449.54.42. Ambulance services may be limited outside of the capital.

The medicines available in the country are insufficient and drug shortages are frequent issues. When traveling in the Gambia, don’t forget to always carry a complete first aid kit.

SECURITY ABROAD

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in crowded markets and on ferries.

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SAN JOSÉ WEATHER

CANADIAN AMBASSY

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 117
  • medical assistance: 116
  • firefighters: 118