It's worth noting that Guinea-Bissau was not affected by the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic that ravaged neighbouring Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
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Before You Go
For travellers arriving from countries where yellow fever is endemic, proof of vaccination is required; however, odds are you won't be asked to produce the document.
Hepatitis A, B, C, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations are recommended. Also consider vaccinations for rabies, meningitis and tuberculosis.
Anti-malarial medication is also prescribed.
HIV and most major sexually transmitted diseases are present in Guinea-Bissau.
Find out in advance whether your insurance plan will make payments to providers or will reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures (most doctors in Guinea-Bissau will expect payment in cash). It's vital to ensure that your travel insurance will cover the emergency transport required to get you to a hospital in a major city, to better facilities elsewhere in Africa or all the way home by air with a medical attendant if necessary. Not all insurance covers this, so check the contract carefully. International SOS (www.internationalsos.com) is recommended.
Availability & Cost of Healthcare
Health services in Guinea-Bissau are poor. If you need urgent medical attention, get flown out – if not to Europe or the US, then at least to Dakar. Outside Bissau, medical facilities are practically non-existent. Cash payment is expected upon treatment.
You should drink only bottled or purified water. Avoid 'disinfected' bags of water sold in the street.