Staying Healthy in Ghana

The first time I traveled to Ghana I thought I packed everything but realized not the most important thing until I arrived…. insect repellent…I was eaten alive. You will hear this a lot but it’s true, don’t drink the local water! I was traveling solo and ran out of bottled water while traveling from Accra to a rural area 3 hours away. I just knew the school I was visiting would have a nice cold bottled water waiting for me.  I was excited with anticipation but was greeted with local water because they ran out of bottled water. I made an impaired (near dehydration) decision to drink the local water. And the result was me being laid up in a hotel for two days to recuperate because I was too sick to travel back to Accra. Oh, and let’s not forget travelers’ diarrhea, all I’m going to say is don’t leave home without those pills.

These were some of my lessons learned years ago during my first two trips to Ghana. Enjoy your adventure but heed my cautionary tale and safeguard your travels.

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Health Tip #1: Take a prescription anti-malaria drug. Holistic Perspective: The Nim Tree has medicinal attributes against malaria (Nim Tea).

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Health Tip #2: Spray yourself and your clothing with insect repellent containing 30 percent DEET.

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Health Tip #3: Wear long light-colored pants and shirts with long sleeves in the evenings.

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Health Tip #4: Do Not eat food from street vendors. Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it. Make sure food is well cooked.

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Health Tip #5: Only drink sealed bottled water. No ice cubes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Health Tip #6: Use Sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

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Health Tip #7: Don’t forget to pack your medications along with a personal first aid kit.

Check out other posts and website about Africa and the Diaspora www.nomadicnoni.com 

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Destination Ghana: Prepare for Take-off

Ghana the Gateway to Africa! The culture, food, and the people what an amazing opportunity to return to the source – Sankofa.  Enjoying sun-drenched days while shopping til you drop and balmy nights, dancing to Highlife and Hiplife music while enjoying a nice cold drink. Akwaaba – welcome to Ghana! But wait before you book that plane ticket Know Before You Go! Planning for your trip starts months prior to take-off.

I’ve been traveling and organizing group tours to Ghana since 1999 and trust me have waited to the last minute to get some of these things done. Wasting valuable time running around gathering documents and praying that I get my visa approved in time for departure. Learn from my mistakes and use this checklist to navigate the planning process prior to take-off.

Step 1: Get a Passport

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  • Find a Passport Acceptance Facility in your Area http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/
  • Allow 4-6 weeks for processing. Expedite service is available for an additional fee
  • Apply, Renew or Add Pages for a Passport Online http://travel.state.gov/passport
  • Passport must show at least six months’ validity from date of travel.

Step 2: Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate

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  • A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into Ghana, West Africa
  • Schedule an appointment 4-6 weeks prior to travel https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellow-fever-vaccination-clinics/search
  • After receiving the vaccine, you will receive a signed and stamped International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP, sometimes called the “yellow card”), which you must bring with you on your trip.
  • The vaccine lasts for life for most people, but a booster after 10 years is recommended for certain people.

Step 3: Valid Entry Visa

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  • A valid entry visa is required to enter Ghana.
  • Submit visa application and passport at least 2-4 weeks prior to travel.
  • Visit Embassy or Consulate website for complete processing details. Washington, DC , New York, Houston.
  • Applications can be submitted online or as a walk-in depending on location. Expedite service is available for additional fee.
  • Single entry visas valid for 3 months from time of issue. Multi entry visas valid for 3 years.

Step 4: Malaria Preventive Treatment

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  • Mefloquine (Lariam) is recommended for malaria prevention for travelers to countries where there is Chloroquine-resistant malaria.
  • Your health care provider will prescribe your anti-malarial based on your travel itinerary and medical history.
  • CDC’s Travelers’ Health cdc.gov/travel

Step 5: Travel Insurance

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Protect your investment get travel insurance. Expect the unexpected travel insurance can cover illness preventing you from traveling, loss luggage, delayed flights and even emergency evacuation.

You are now ready for take-off! Check out other posts and website about Africa and the Diaspora www.nomadicnoni.com 

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