Subscribe to SmallPlanet

We Need Your Help

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report


Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

Malaria and dengue, diarrheal diseases. Basic care at the embassy is very good in our experience (local doctor and American nurse practitioner). You can also get basic radiology testing, blood work, and dental care done here. There are several clinics that can provide urgent care on the weekends. However, more serious health problems would require a medevac or waiting until you return home for leave. Emergency care is not reliable here. - Dec 13, 2017
Malaria, malaria, malaria. It's real, and people at the Embassy have contracted it when not regularly taking meds. Medical care here is pretty spartan, with a few bright spots. Any major issue will involve a medevac to London, which is a 10-hour transit time. We've been pleasantly surprised with basic care. The Embassy med unit has a full-time American nurse and Burkinabe doctor. The French medical clinic (Centre Medical International) has a handful of doctors fluent in English who have been quite helpful. We were sent for an ultrasound (non-pregnancy-related) at one point, and were pleasantly surprised that the equipment seemed modern and technician seemed well-trained. But don't let that give you false confidence. In a pinch, it'll do. But the overall quality of care here is sub-standard. - May 21, 2016
Malaria and food/water borne diseases are common. Medical care is really lacking, though the Embassy has a health unit staffed with an American nurse, a local nurse and a local doctor. People medevac to London for anything remotely serious. - Aug 8, 2015
Malaria is very common, but with early treatment local care is available. Tertiary care is not great here; most folks go to Europe for any serious problems, if they can afford it. - Jun 9, 2015
Malaria is the largest health issue. Take your meds. Health care is poor on the economy. No real emergency services. - Jul 30, 2013
Malaria and food-borne illnesses. The Health Unit is pretty good, but for anything major you'll be heading to Europe. Care in town is not hygienic. Some have found a local dentist, but should be used for nothing more than cleanings. - Jul 8, 2013
Malaria is the biggie. - Apr 19, 2013
Yes, lots of health concerns. Everything from respiratory problems to frequent stomach and intestinal problems due to the food, malaria, infections, etc. Local medical care is really poor, and you should definitely leave for Europe for better care for anything serious. However, if you're an Embassy employee, the Health Unit is very helpful. - Nov 18, 2012
The embassy has a nurse and a doctor, but neither is US-trained. The Japanese embassy has a doctor, and there is a military doctor here from time to time. - Aug 6, 2010
Medical care is okay. The Embassy has a nurse and local doctor. Many expats have had children here and some minor surgeries like appendicitis, etc. But it's not recommended. Malaria and stomach problems are de rigeur and should be treated immediately. - Jul 25, 2008
Parasites and malaria. You really have to be careful of the water-borne illnesses. Good quality medical care is available, just not the standard you are used to in the U.S. or Europe. - Jun 18, 2008