Foreign travel advice

Zambia

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Medical facilities and communications in Zambia are poor, especially in rural areas. Even basic drugs and clean needles may not be available. Emergency services are limited. Make sure you know your blood group and carry a sterile medical kit including needles, dressings etc. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

On arrival in Zambia, customs officials may ask to see prescriptions for any medication you bring into the country.

Food bought from local street vendors may not meet adequate hygiene standards. In February 2016, there were reports of a cholera outbreak in several townships in Lusaka Province and Chibombo in Central Province. Health officials are concerned about poor hygiene in markets and other food outlets which are prone to cholera.

In the 2013 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 950,000 adults aged 15 or over in Zambia were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 12.7% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage rate 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 999 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.