At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
A rabies outbreak was reported in Ngamiland, in the Delta area of north west Botswana on 8 November. Further information on rabies can be found on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) website.
Health care in Botswana is good in major towns, but medical facilities and communications are limited in rural areas. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation to the UK or South Africa may be necessary. Private hospitals will not treat patients unless you can pay, and the cost of health care may be high. Outpatients must pay cash before receiving treatment. You will only be accepted as an emergency patient if you have full insurance cover. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
There are occasional outbreaks of anthrax amongst wild animals. Don’t touch dead animals or carcasses. If you suspect that you have come into contact with anthrax, seek urgent medical advice.
If you intend to camp or walk in the bush you should be aware of the risk of tick bites.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 997 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.