Praia - Post Report Question and Answers

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

The "Harmattan Haze" in winter can be problematic for people with asthma and other breathing conditions. Gastrointestinal illnesses are common. Medical care here is very poor. Anything requiring an invasive procedure will require a medevac to Europe or the US. Dental care is sufficient. - Feb 2024

No endemic malaria. Medical care is not strong; any serious cases are medically evacuated. Cancer and heart conditions typically require treatment elsewhere. Emergency health care is more challenging outside the islands of Santiago, Sao Vicente, and Sal. - Aug 2023

Not really. Available medical care is limited. I would imagine that for some types of specialized care you would need to travel to Europe or back to the United States. Particularly giving birth, you can find good OB/GYN here but not epidural unless you go to the private hospital in Mindelo. - Jan 2023

The medical care in Praia is awful. We have a local doctor on staff, and some private clinics that can do labwork and take x-rays. - Sep 2018

Until 2017, malaria was almost unheard of here, but this year Praia had at least 300 recorded cases. In 2015, there was a widespread Zika virus outbreak. Basic medical care is decent in Praia, but there are nine islands, so transport can be dangerously slow to get care. Most people need to medevac to Lisbon or London for anything. This is not a good place if you need frequent or specialized medical care. No snakes or dangerous critters and we haven't heard of a shark attack since we've been here. - Dec 2017

There have been a number cases of Zika here and a couple cases of babies born with microcephaly. If you are planning to become pregnant or are already, check with your medical provider. Pregnant women are most at risk in their first trimester.

The embassy here employs a local doctor. There is also an RMO based in Senegal who makes visits.

The medical care for physical and mental health here is of poor quality compared to back in the U.S. - Oct 2016

We have a U.S. trained Cape Verdean doctor who is contracted with the Embassy. You will be medevac'd for any reason. You so not want to go to the hospital here. - May 2014

Medical care is a definite problem in Praia, with few services available. The U.S. Embassy has a locally-engaged doctor who is extremely knowledgeable, makes house calls, and is realistic about the limitations and so will medevac you for anything that appears serious. There is little to no malaria, and I do not take prescription medication for malaria but the Peace Corps does. Dengue fever is a problem during the rainy season. Other than that, there is little presence of the communicable diseases that cause problems in other parts of Africa. - Feb 2011

Medical care is poor here. Medevac to Dakar, Lisbon or Boston for anything remotely unusual i.e. a really bad toothache, pregnancy, weird muscle spasms. - Sep 2012

Yes, medical care is poor. You will be medivaced for most anything. - May 2012

Medical care and common medicines are very limited. But this is not a malaria country, so that's at least one less worry. - Sep 2009

Medical care is poor and all expats (and some Cape Verdeans) leave the country for anything more than minor health issues such as colds or sprains. - Feb 2008

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