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 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.

The provision and quality of health care is variable and can be especially poor outside of the major cities. There’s a shortage of drugs and trained medical staff in hospitals, making it difficult for hospitals to treat certain illnesses including accidents and trauma cases. The shortage of fuel has reduced emergency response capabilities. Private clinics will not treat patients until they pay and often require large amounts of cash before they will admit even emergency cases. An increasing number of businesses in Zimbabwe will only accept US dollars in cash, rather than credit or debit cards. This includes some medical providers. Even if payment is available some of the best hospitals are often too full to admit patients. Medical costs, particularly for evacuation, can be high. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you’re on medication, bring sufficient supplies of your medication to cover the period of your stay. Pharmacies may not be able to provide you with the appropriate drug prescribed by your doctor.

On 6 September 2018, a cholera outbreak was declared in Harare by the Ministry of Health of Zimbabwe. There are continuing reports of typhoid fever and cholera in a number of areas of the country. The situation is being monitored by the World Health Organisation. You should familiarise yourself with the symptoms and follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.

Following an outbreak first reported in October 2017, there are continuing reports of typhoid fever in a number of areas. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre

In 2016, the UN estimated that around 1,300,000 people in Zimbabwe were living with HIV. They estimated the prevalence rate in the 15 to 49 age bracket to be 13.5%. You should exercise usual precautions to avoid exposure to HIV.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, Econet subscribers should dial 112, NetOne subscribers should dial 114 and those using landlines should dial 0800 3222 911. There are alternative options through Zimbabas. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.