Health

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 are 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.

There are outbreaks of cholera and yellow fever in DRC with over 400 deaths from cholera reported in the first half of 2017. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre. You should get vaccinated against yellow fever before entering DRC.

If you become ill during or immediately after travelling to the country, seek medical advice immediately. Medical care is extremely limited. The Centre Prive d’Urgence (CPU) clinic in Kinshasa is able to cope with basic health problems and to stabilise a patient after most serious accidents. Outside Kinshasa, western standard medical facilities are almost non-existent. Medical evacuation to South Africa (or elsewhere) is often necessary. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation; this should specifically include the very high costs of evacuation by air ambulance. If you take medication regularly, bring in a properly-marked supply, sufficient for the time you will be in the DRC, with you.

On 1 August 2018, the DRC Government confirmed an outbreak of the Ebola virus in North Kivu province, originating in Béni territory. On 24 September a case was also confirmed in Tchomia, a town on the Ugandan border approximately 200 kilometres north of the current hotspot of Beni. The latest updates can be found on World Health Organisation website.

In 2012, African Sleeping Sickness (Trypanosomiasis) was reported in the Haute-Uele district of north eastern DRC.

In the 2012 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 390,000 adults aged 15 or over were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 1.1 of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.25%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV and AIDS.

Plague is endemic in North Eastern Province Orientale.