A Practical Health Guide for Tourists in Nigeria

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Many tourists are usually worried when visiting a new country because they do not want to fall ill or catch a disease. Adjusting to a new environment can take a toll on your physical wellbeing.  If you are coming to Nigeria, here is a health guide for you.

Before your trip:

Before you arrive in Nigeria, if you are ill or on medication, visit your doctor to prepare your medication and a health card that contains your vital health information. Also take necessary vaccinations if needed.

A Health Card would usually contain the following information:

  • Name & contact of your regular doctor
  • Name & contact of your next of kin
  • Vaccination record
  • Brief medical record
  • Blood group
  • Medicine
  • Food allergies
  • A list of your medications & their dosage

Pack a first aid kit:

Your First Aid Kit is your survival emergency solution kit and should contain scissors, insect repellant, medications, plaster, hand wash, cotton wool, sanitizers, pills and wound cleanser.  You should ensure you carry a first aid kit especially if you are travelling to the remote areas in Nigeria where there are little or no healthcare system nearby.

While you are here:

  • Practice personal hygiene – wash your hands with soap or use had sanitizer before meals and after using the toilet. Don’t expose yourself to mosquitoes, use mosquito repellent cream when outdoors and a mosquito net when you inside (if necessary).
  • Watch what you eat and drink – avoid drinking tap water, boil it before drinking or better still, go for well named bottled water like Eva or Nestle. Make sure your food is properly cooked; avoid roadside vendors with low level of cooking hygiene. Stay away from salads and sliced fruits if you are not sure of its cleanliness and freshness. If you have food allergies, make sure you ask if what you are allergic to is not included your meal.
  • Safety – always wear a seat belt or protective gear when doing adventurous activities like Kart racing. Do not drink and drive. Respect your host country and residents by following local customs and laws.

What should you do if you fall ill?

For illnesses that seem out of control, seek medical attention immediately. Always maintain hydration – drink plenty of water. You can also make your own emergency rehydration fluid with a mixture of ½ teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of sugar and 1 liter of water.

After your Trip

If you were sick during your trip or symptoms persist, it is wise to visit your doctor for checkup at your home country or arrival.

Note: though there are emergency numbers you can contact especially if you are in Lagos, most are not functioning. It is advised you have the contact of a local person who can easily help you through emergencies.

 

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