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

Kinshasa



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

Malaria and other mosquito-borne illness, diarrhea, all manner of insect bites. There are no medical facilities that are up to US standards. Medical evacuations are fairly common I think. - Dec 21, 2017
Yes, limited medical care and mostly cash-only payments - Dec 4, 2017
Local health care is unreliable at best. Most head to Health Unit or else go on medical evacuation for care beyond Health Unit's capabilities. Local hospitals require French and the quiet yet firm ability to fight for what you think you need. Also, you must pay in advance for service. - Mar 2, 2017
All manner of tropical diseases are present, but the largest concerns are insect related. You'll need an antimalarial and should bring a lot of high quality bug spray (e.g. Deet, Picaridin) as the mosquitos and flies are intense and are not deterred by herbal repellents. Also bring antihistamine and plan to bleach fruits and vegetables to disinfect them, as diarrheal diseases are rampant. - Jan 21, 2017
Malaria, malaria, malaria. Virtually NO medical care in the city, so people got evacuated a lot. Oddly, though, there was a good Belgian dental clinic in town. - Sep 26, 2016
Malaria is here - though not a lot of expats seem to get it (probably because many take anti-malarials) and that is probably the biggest risk. The medical care is spotty - there are hospitals and doctors, but USG employees get medevac'd for even pretty routine procedures (ie: appendix, root canal). The health unit at post for USG is amazing, but for a bit problem you will likely be leaving Kinshasa for Jo'burg or London. - Apr 26, 2016
Malaria is the biggest concern but are any number of diseases, infections, and parasites to cause trouble. Medical care is almost non-existant with most health concerns not treatable by simple antibiotics medevacced to South Africa. - Jan 6, 2014
Malaria: people use nets and pills. Some allergy issues in the fall. Cholera and ebola have both broken out in the past year, but they do not really affect the expat community. There is a Belgian-run medical center that can do triage on serious problems and do surgery if need be, but generally everything serious is a medivac to South Africa. There are said to be good dentists. - Nov 24, 2012
Many health concerns. Medical care is not good and you would not want to be in Kinshasa if there was any type of emergency. There is a local hospital, but pretty much ALL medical care is med-evaced to South Africa or the US. - Feb 13, 2012
Unreliable. - Nov 13, 2011
Malaria - Aug 4, 2011
Yes, there is constant smoke in the air from the numerous trash piles being burned thru out the area. There is little or no intra-structure to deal with trash and it is very common for people to just burn what ever trash they have. There is no EPA or Clean Air Act here, vehicles have no emission standards to meet and diesel is the fuel of choice. The gasoline is leaded, so anything with a converter is burnt out in a few months of use. In the ‘dry’ season, Kinshasa can be a dusty dirty place with the amount of traffic stirring up things. In the ‘dry’ season there are fires burning everywhere, clearing fields, trash fire that get into the vegetation, careless smokers. Most buildings are concrete and block, so structural fires are not common. There allkinds of water/air borne things to affect you - ebola, HIV/AIDS. monkey pox, etc. The Congo Basin, second in size only to the Amazon, is referred to the Peti dish of the world. CDC has their Regional Headquarters across the river in Brazzaville, ROC and has a big presence in DRC. Small pox, cholera, etc. There is little or no real health care, anything serious(more than first-aid or what can be taken by Embassy med unit) is medi-vac to South Africa. Most if not all of the hospitals are poorly staffed, equipped and supplied. - Jan 19, 2011
Medical care at CMK is fine for immediate care. My son spent a few days at the hospital, and it seemed like decent care by 1950's standards. Anything really serious would require medevac. - Oct 16, 2010
Malaria, mostly. Kinshasa has an American nurse practitioner; Regional Medical Officer (dr.) comes through every few months. - Jan 21, 2009