Home » Travelling to Nigeria? Essential Health Tips from a Seasoned Expert

Travelling to Nigeria? Essential Health Tips from a Seasoned Expert

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Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-time visitor, understanding the health risks and necessary precautions can ensure a safe trip.

Are you equipped with the knowledge to safeguard your well-being as you immerse yourself in all that Nigeria has to offer?

Considering the health precautions before and during your trip to Nigeria can mean distinguishing between a memorable and troublesome journey. Here are the Key Takeaways

  • Preparing for Nigeria requires meticulous health and safety planning.
  • Be mindful of entry protocols and local health risks.
  • Stay vigilant with your health throughout your visit.

Are you travelling to Nigeria

Pre-Travel Procedures and Documentation

Before setting foot in Nigeria, it’s imperative that you have your paperwork in order and adhere to the health guidelines. Taking these precautions ensures a smooth entry into the country and helps safeguard your health.

Vaccination and Health Guidelines

Staying healthy is as crucial as staying legal.

Common recommendations typically include vaccines for yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and typhoid, among others.

Some other tips include:

  • Always carry your International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis to prove that you’ve received your shots.
  • Due to COVID-19, travel protocols might require a negative PCR test and possibly a follow-up test after arrival.
  • Ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest travel advisories from your country’s health department, like the CDC.
  • Also, keep an eye on any additional health documentation that may be necessary depending on the current global health situation.

Passport and Visa Requirements

Entering Nigeria requires a valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity. You also need at least one blank visa page for stamps.

Foreigners seeking entry into Nigeria generally need a visa which you can obtain a visa from the Nigerian embassy or consulate in your home country.

Be aware that visa requirements can change, so it’s advisable to check the latest information with the Nigerian immigration authorities before you travel.

Health and Safety Concerns in Nigeria

When planning your trip to Nigeria, prioritising your health and safety is as essential as the itinerary itself. Being aware of the prevalent issues will help you prepare adequately and make informed decisions to protect yourself.

Infectious Diseases and Vaccination

Nigeria, like many tropical countries, has a range of infectious diseases that are not as common in other parts of the world.

For instance, malaria is endemic in the region. It’s crucial for you to carry mosquito repellent and consider prophylactic medications.

Also, vaccinations are your first line of defence. Recommended vaccines include but are not limited to:

  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid
  • Meningitis

Especially important is staying informed about the status of COVID-19. Although vaccination has reduced the necessity for PCR tests prior to arrival, understanding current protocols can save you from unforeseen hassles.

Crime and Personal Security

As a visitor, understanding the security climate is a must. Afterall, tourists (or any visitors for that matter) are not immune to crime and security concerns.

The Department of State has highlighted concerns over violent crime, including armed robbery, assault, and kidnappings, notably in certain parts of the country.

It’s imperative to

  • Avoid travel to high-risk areas
  • Stay vigilant in crowded places
  • Keep a low profile and safeguard your personal belongings

Regarding terrorism, regions such as Borno, Yobe, and several others are considered to have high risks of terrorist activities.

Therefore, reviewing travel advisories and updates from authoritative sources before and during your trip is necessary for staying as safe as possible.

At The Nigerian Border: Arrival Protocols

When traveling to Nigeria, it’s essential to adhere to the specific health protocols in place to ensure a safe entry. As you touch down, be aware of the airport screening processes and be prepared with the appropriate documents for customs.

Airport Screening and Quarantine Regulations

Upon arrival at the Nigerian airport, Port Health Services will be your first stop for health checks.

They conduct screenings which include temperature checks and assessment of travel history.

If you’re fully vaccinated, you won’t need a pre-boarding PCR test, but remember to have your vaccination card handy.

Those who aren’t fully vaccinated may have to undergo a mandatory quarantine as well as scheduled PCR tests on designated days following their arrival.

Customs and Entry Guidelines

Following health screenings, you’ll move on to customs. Here, ensure you abide by the Nigerian entry guidelines, which include a filled health questionnaire and evidence of PCR tests scheduled for your stay, if required.

Stay abreast of the latest travel protocols, as these can affect what you need to present at customs to enter Nigeria smoothly.

Keep all documents accessible to expedite your passage through this final check before you begin your visit in Nigeria.

Nigerian lady
Photo by Omotayo Tajudeen on Unsplash

Staying Healthy During Your Visit

When you’re traveling to Nigeria, it’s crucial to prioritize your health to ensure an enjoyable trip. From the food you eat to the water you drink, and even accessing medical care, there are specific strategies you should follow.

Food and Water Precautions

In Nigeria, the allure of local cuisine can be strong, but taking precautions with food and water is essential:

  • Choose Wisely: Stick to meals from reputable restaurants and hotels where hygiene standards are likely to be higher.
  • Eat Safely: Opt for foods that are cooked and served hot. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them yourself.
  • Stay Hydrated SAFELY: Drink bottled water or water that has been properly treated. Ice cubes may be made from untreated water and should be avoided.

Accessing Medical Services

Maintaining access to medical services while in Nigeria requires planning:

  • Carry Medications: Bring a supply of your regular medications, as well as a traveler’s diarrhea kit.
  • Insurance Matters: Consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance, as healthcare facilities may not meet your standards, especially if you are traveling to remote areas.
  • Be Prepared: Know where the nearest reputable medical facility is and how to reach it. Contact information for local doctors and hospitals should be kept handy.
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If you’re going on a Nigerian adventure, prioritise your health by adhering to recommended immunisations and malaria prevention tactics.

Proactive measures keep you safe, so consult your healthcare provider well in advance.

Let’s ensure your travel memories are remarkable for all the right reasons—plan wisely and travel safely.

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