Cape Verde Islands

Thursday 24.04.2014

 

Health

 

There are very few contagious diseases or even epidemics on Cape Verde due to the dry climate and constantly blowing wind. You can feel safe here because there are also very few dangerous animals such as snakes. However, you should watch out for scorpions (cempé), because their sting is quite painful and similar to that of a wasp. Vaccinations are generally not necessary. The health authorities only recommend basic vaccinations like hepatitis A and B, typhus, cholera, polio, yellow fever and tetanus.

There are sometimes isolated cases of malaria in Praia and Dengue, on the island of Santiago, during the late summer months. The number of cases is so low that even the Institute of Tropical Medicine does not recommend preventative measures against malaria.

A phenomenon that is also familiar at other vacation destinations is the famous Montezuma’s Revenge (diarrhoea). Even though the hygienic conditions on Cape Verde have improved considerably over recent years, along with stricter water testing, traveller’s diarrhoea occurs rather frequently. As a preventative measure, you should abstain from eating fruit that has not been peeled and drinking tap water. When you buy drinking water, always check that the seal has not been tampered with because some Cape Verdeans don’t take these things too seriously and have been found to refill bottles at times!
Otherwise, doctors and primary care centres (Unidade Sanitária de Base) are located on every island. Hospitals are located in Praia, São Vicente and Santo Antão. Dispensaries (Posto de Venda EMPROFAC) can easily be found in the cities.

All medical services must be paid in cash on site. We therefore recommend a travel insurance that reimburses the costs when presented with receipts. So you should keep any medical receipts.