Asmara - 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?

Medical care is poor--you would need evacuation for most things. Fortunately, the air is clean and I've not seen people come down with foodborne illness. - Apr 2021

Medical care is lacking, but there are no specific health concerns. No malaria or other awful communicable diseases. Medevac would be mostly for large accidents, I think. - Dec 2019

No particular health concerns. Some people find the altitude takes getting used to. Medical care is uneven, shading toward poor. Doctors and nurses may have excellent training, but resources are lacking. Some embassies and organizations have well-stocked and well-equipped health units. Treatment beyond that calls for going abroad. - Feb 2019

Altitude takes getting used to; shortness of breath and dizziness. Generally, though, you don’t need to bleach vegetables or fruit, just wash them thoroughly. Medical care is good from a skills perspective, but from a resource perspective it’s terrible. I went to the dentist and they had no exam gloves or electricity for an xray. I broke my finger and there is one radiologist in the country to look at your xray. Flights to Dubai are frequent for anything serious. - Sep 2018

Medical care does not meet Western standards, which is one reason Eritrea is an adults-only posting for U.S. personnel. That said, there are a number of other diplomats that do have children in country. Malaria is not an issue. With increased flights, medical evacuation is also looking better if needed. In my non-professional opinion, any injury that has the potential to be life threatening, cause permanent disfigurement, or if untreated the ability to cause long term damage...I would recommend medical evacuation.

Once again, the dentists and doctors are knowledgeable, they just lack the facilities and equipment in many cases. - Dec 2016

The high altitude (approx. 7800 feet) poses problems for some. One must be careful when eating in restaurants. All fruits and vegetables must be disinfected in bleach. Water must be bottled or distilled. There is a Jordanian-run hospital where adult foreigners (they will not treat children) can be treated on a fee-for-services basis, using US dollars. There is a health unit on the Embassy compound for Embassy employees and family members. It is staffed by an American Nurse Practitioner and an Eritrean nurse. - Aug 2007

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