Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.
Check the latest country-specific information and advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website or from NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.
Over 2000 cases of cholera have been reported in Lusaka since an initial outbreak in September 2017. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and take measures to reduce the risk of infection.
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. Health officials are concerned about poor hygiene in markets and other food outlets which are prone to cholera. See Food and water hygiene.
The Zambia HIV Impact Assessment report of 2016 estimated that 980,000 people were living with HIV in Zambia. The overall HIV prevalence in the adult population is 12.3%, compared to a prevalence of 0.2% in adults in the UK. You should take normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, staff at the British High Commission use the SES private ambulance service (00260 962 740300 / 740302). You should check with your insurer before travelling that your cover will be sufficient for this service. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.