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.
There are good medical facilities in Windhoek. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Even with fully comprehensive travel insurance, private hospitals in Namibia may insist on proof of payment (cash or credit card) before starting treatment. They may also insist you pay up front, reclaiming from your insurer at a later date. Some travel insurance policies are not recognised by some Namibian hospitals, you should check with your provider if their product is accepted in Namibia before you travel and seek alternative coverage where necessary. Medical evacuation from remote areas can take time.
Cholera is known to occur in Namibia and an outbreak has been reported in the Kunene Region with additional cases reported in the Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena, and Khomas Regions, including a small number of cases in the capital, Windhoek. For further information see NaTHNaC’s Information sheet.
Some people suffer skin problems and/or dehydration due to Namibia’s hot and dry climate. Make sure you carry a good supply of drinkable water.
The 2013 UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic estimated that around 200,000 adults aged 15 or over in Namibia were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 13.3% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 211111 (in Windhoek) or 10111 (elsewhere) and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.