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What vaccinations are required when you travel to Nigeria?

a virus in color red traveling through the human body in Nigeria
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Before you start your travel to Nigeria, it’s necessary to check what vaccinations are required before your way.

Nigeria is one of the most desired destinations in Africa for tourists from all over the world.

The country bears some of the most exotic places and diverse wildlife that are sufficient to attract international tourists.  But traveling doesn’t come alone.

It always involves some risks. One of the main risks associated with cross-border tourism is related to health. People traveling to other countries do not know what infections could be waiting for them.

This uncertainty increases when the visit involves cross-continent traveling.

Viruses such

  • Malaria
  • Polio
  • HIV AIDS
  • Hepatitis

can cause very serious issues that may also be life-threatening. So if you want to stay safe while on a visit to other countries, the best way is to get vaccinated against the majority of endemic diseases.

The same principle applies to visit Nigeria. As it is an integral part of Africa, it is always advised for the visitors to get the necessary vaccinations done before preparing to visit Nigeria.

READ ALSO: PLACES TO VISIT IN NIGERIA

This article will guide our readers about the most inquired question regarding travel to Nigeria vaccinations required.

WHO issued a warning and recommended actions for the travelers who intend to visit Nigeria for awareness and preparedness against some of the obvious epidemics including:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Poliovirus
  • Lassa Fever
  • Monkeypox
  • Cholera
  • Acute hepatitis
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Ebola virus disease outbreak
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Avian influenza
  • Acute fever
  • Rash syndrome

They have also suggested that international visitors get vaccinated against the mentioned diseases to ensure their safety.

Please see the most common health risks that would require you to get proper vaccination before entering Nigeria.

Polio

Although the government of Nigeria celebrated three years of Wild Polio eradication from the country in the mid of last year, still the threat may not be over.

The travelers are highly recommended to get themselves and their children vaccinated against poliovirus because once the polio is activated, it is irreversible and causes permanent damage.

The Nigerian government also wants to safeguard its inhabitants from the outside risks.

For the very obvious reason, they need the tourists and travelers to get vaccinated for polio before they enter into the Nigerian space.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the liver. It has multiple types and it is widely spread in Nigeria.

Therefore, vaccinations for all kinds of Hepatitis are required when you travel to Nigeria. Hepatitis B and C are most common in Nigeria.

The Nigerian government is quite serious about curtailing this massive health issue from the country that can eventually lead to its eradication.

But we don’t know about its timeline yet. Don’t forget to get vaccinated for the following most common and widely spread types of Hepatitis.

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B (With 11.2%, this is the highest ratio of affected in Nigeria)
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis E

Meningitis

It is a brutal inflammation that affects the brain and spinal cord. Although Nigeria introduced special steps and vaccinations to prevent meningitis from spreading into their country on 12 Aug 2018, it is still recommended to be cautious about it.

The mission of the government remains positive and aggressive movements have been made in this regard.

Still, the threat of getting infected with meningitis remains at large.

The travelers need to be sure to take necessary measures of vaccinations against meningitis so that they remain unaffected due to the grave effects of this epidemic.

Meningococcal Infection

Meningococcal is a very serious and life-threatening infection that is spread from one person to another easily.

The normal ways of spreading this infection are coughing, sneezing, and close physical contact.

According to the WHO report, around 1400 cases have been reported with over 200 deaths caused due to this viral disease in Nigeria.

Kids with the ages of 2-12 are most affected by this infection. WHO does not impose any travel restrictions on Nigeria due to this infection but still, travelers are advised to get necessary vaccinations to prevent any damages.

Malaria

Malaria is one of the major health risks in Nigeria and Africa. Over 300,000 deaths occur in Nigeria only due to malaria.

On 26 Sep 2018, WHO took a great initiative by sending thousands of willing persons to help Nigeria battle against Malaria.

This was an inevitable step due to the massive health issues that malaria caused in Nigeria.

Thankfully, the issue has been controlled but no one can guarantee the foolproof safety from this viral disease. Proper vaccinations are required when you travel to Nigeria.

Dengue Fever

 Dengue fever is an acute disease that damages your blood cells to critical levels. This is also caused by bites of a special kind of mosquito.

It is also known as backbone fever. It can be fatal in most of the cases as the world has not invented an immediate cure for dengue fever.

In the light of the scenario mentioned above, it is in your own favor to get the maximum vaccinations done before traveling to Nigeria especially the vaccines meant to protect you against mosquito bites.

Cholera

Cholera is an acute disease that leads to stomach inflammation and severe diarrhea. Cholera can be fatal if not taken seriously.

On 24 June 2018, Nigeria received around 700,000 oral vaccines to prevent and control cholera in a single state of Adamawa.

The same preventive actions have been taken by many government-backed organizations and NGOs.

The problem has not yet been resolved fully from Nigeria.

Therefore, it is highly advised to the international tourists to get vaccinated against cholera so that they have a safe and sound visit to Nigeria.

The following places in Nigeria are most affected by cholera.

  • Adamawa
  • Anambra
  • Bauchi
  • Borno
  • Ebonyi
  • Gombe
  • Kaduna
  • Kano
  • Katsina
  • Nasarawa
  • Sokoto
  • Yobe
  • Zamfara

Typhoid

Being a potentially serious illness, typhoid remains a point of concern in Nigeria to date.

The people who want to travel to Nigeria for any reason are highly advised to get the special vaccination that may protect you from this serious disease.

Moreover, when you are out there in Nigeria and get a feeling of Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, don’t take it non-seriously and consider getting yourself checked for typhoid.

You may also need to be extra conscious about your eating and drinking habits because typhoid easily spreads via foods and drinks.

A study carried out a few years ago revealed that as many as 11% of the population in Lagos was affected by typhoid.

The most common typhoid-hit cities in Nigeria are listed below.

  • Ikeja
  • Lagos
  • Kano city
  • Abuja
  • Gwagwalada
  • Nyanya
  • Garki
  • Maitama

Rabies

As Nigeria is rich with wildlife and most of the travelers might be interested in visiting national parks and safaris, it is highly recommended that they get vaccinated for this deadliest disease.

It spreads through saliva and the bites of wild animals like dogs etc. In Lagos state alone, many cases of rabies were found and reported in the local hospitals.

People who want to stay for longer in Nigeria are highly advised to protect themselves from rabies via proper vaccination.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is just like dengue fever and it is also caused by an infection transmitted by mosquito bites.

It is an acute disease that can lead to death also. Yellow fever is currently a new threat affecting Nigeria.

More than 200 cases of yellow fever have been reported in Nigeria from different states since mid of 2019.

Prominent cities that have a higher risk of yellow fever have been mentioned below. But this does not mean that yellow fever is only limited to these cities.

Mosquitoes certainly do not limit themselves to any boundaries. So you need to be extra careful in getting precautionary measures to prevent this disease.

Vaccination against yellow fever is highly recommended because a mosquito can bite anywhere, anytime. Major cities in Nigeria where yellow fever is most common include:

  • Bauchi
  • Borno
  • Gombe
  • Kano

Miscellaneous health issues that need your attention include:

In addition to the above-mentioned viruses and infections, the following health hazards also need to be kept in mind and the required vaccinations before traveling to Nigeria would be a wise decision.

Influenza

Influenza is a common infection that keeps affecting people in almost every part of the world. It mainly affects your nose, throat, and respiratory system.

It can lead to severe health issues especially in children if not treated on time. You would need to vaccinate yourself to prevent influenza from damaging you.

Bird flu

Nigeria is among the countries that were hit by one of the worst effects of bird flu.

Basically, it is transmitted into the human body by eating foods such as poultry and chicken items.

The avian influenza was also discovered in a few states of Nigeria but was controlled later on.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the most common infections in the world. It is generally spread through eating or drinking unhealthy and infectious foods.

In addition to staying conscious about your eating and drinking habits, it is always advised to consider vaccinations to protect yourself in a positive way.

Ebola virus

Although WHO has clearly termed Nigeria free from the Ebola virus, there is always a risk of getting it back to the country.

Therefore, it is in the list of recommended vaccinations before traveling to Nigeria.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is one of the deadliest diseases in Nigeria. Nigeria comes third in place after China and India for the most number of cases of tuberculosis.

The recent studies carried out by WHO, suggests that this disease is increasing day by day. As it affects a majority of middle and low-class people, it is recommended that you take the necessary vaccination to keep you and your family protected from tuberculosis.

Atmospheric Poisoning

Beware of the atmospheric poisoning in Nigeria that was recently in the news for affecting around 850,000 people in Nigeria.

The excessive use of mercury in the air due to chemical and industrial uses had created serious health risks for Nigerians.

The government had taken steps to address this epidemic but a risk of getting infected by this poison in the air always keeps hovering above the Nigerian atmosphere.

Therefore, the vaccinations that prevent stomach issues, throat, and nasal infections are highly advisable before traveling to Nigeria.

Traveling to Nigeria Requirements

According to the instructions on a state website, outsiders need the following to enter Nigeria.

  • A valid passport of 6 months.
  • A valid visa for Nigeria.
  • Required vaccinations (Yellow Fever, and Polio, etc.)

The above-mentioned requirements are the minimum things needed to travel to Nigeria and other requirements are almost the same as there are for other countries.

What vaccinations are required when you travel to Nigeria Summary:

Nigeria is truly a beautiful country and an attraction to international tourists due to many reasons.

While all the tourists are most welcomed by the Nigerian government and people, the vaccinations recommended in this article must be ensured for the safety of travelers and local residents.

Do you need vaccines to go to Nigeria?

The simple and straight forward answer to this most obvious question is, “Yes”. To reiterate about the minimum vaccines needed to go to Nigeria include:
Hepatitis A
Poliomyelitis
Tetanus
Yellow Fever
Typhoid
Cholera

Do you need a yellow fever certificate for Nigeria?

Yes. Yellow Fever is one of the recent epidemics that Nigeria has faced. The government of Nigeria is keen to get rid of this disease. Therefore, it is one of the requirements to get a Yellow Fever certificate before entering the country. WHO also supported the Nigerian government in late 2018 to vaccinate millions of Nigerian citizens.

How far in advance do you need to get travel vaccinations?

It is advised that your vaccinations need to be fresh, valid, and the latest. The results of the vaccines and certificates must show an expiration date of the vaccines. Your vaccines must fall under the valid dates and should also cover your stay in Nigeria.

What does a US citizen need to travel to Nigeria?

The same requirements that are mandatory for any other citizens apply for US citizens also. No special requirements are needed by US citizens to enter Nigeria.