Madagascar

Madagascar

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, located off Southern Africa, east of Mozambique. The population is approximately 21 million people.

The government is a republic with a president as chief of state, elected by popular vote. A prime minister is head of government and is appointed by the president. In March 2009, the elected president stepped down and handed the government over to the military. The military appointed the opposition leader to be the President of the High Transitional Authority in a power sharing agreement.

Madagascar exports textiles, coffee, seafood, petroleum products and is the world's leading producer of vanilla. Madagascar tourism targets the eco-tourism sector. About three-quarters of the species of animals in this country are not found anywhere else in the world.

Some of the problems in Madagascar include poverty, food shortages, and competition for agricultural land. A majority of the people live on less than one dollar a day, and Madagascar is considered one of the world's poorest countries.

Currency MGA: Malagasy ariary
Language French and Malagasy
Capital Antananarivo
Recent Alerts 4
Latest Alert November 17, 2017 - Plague epidemic in Madagascar - update

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Madagascar. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in Madagascar.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Madagascar through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Madagascar.

Malaria

All areas are at high risk for malaria, especially coastal areas.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Madagascar, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Schistosomiasis

The parasite that causes schistosomiasis is found in Madagascar. It is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Plague

Plague continues to be a threat in Madagascar, particularly in the central highlands and in the provinces of Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, and Toamasina. The disease usually occurs in rural areas, and urban outbreaks are rare. The risk to travellers is low unless they have contact with fleas, infected rodents, or suspected plague patients.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya is a viral disease that occurs in Madagascar. Outbreaks of this disease usually occur during the tropical rainy season, however, outbreaks can occur during the dry season as well.

Yellow Fever

Travellers are not at risk for yellow fever for this country. However, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in this country. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Polio

Although no human cases of wild polio virus have been reported in Madagascar, there were reported cases of polio acquired from a polio vaccine strain in 2015.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Madagascar.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Travellers are not at risk for yellow fever for this country. However, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers over 9 months of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Polio Vaccine

All travellers to Madagascar should make sure they have had a polio-containing vaccine in the past 10 years and that children have had a full course of the vaccine.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Madagascar.

Anti-malarial Drugs

All areas of Madagascar are at high risk for malaria. Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone- proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Madagascar

Emergency Numbers

117
118

Personal Safety

Travellers to Madagascar should maintain an awareness of their personal security at all times due to political tensions in the country.

The crime rate is fairly high due to civil unrest and recent economic crisis. Robberies, gang activity, kidnappings, and home invasions can occur and are often violent. Foreigners and employees of non-governmental organizations are sometimes targeted. Road travel can be dangerous. Armed attacks have occurred on main highways, particularly at night and in the southern region of the country between Fianarantsoa and Tulear.

Travellers should avoid persons claiming to be “guides”, as they are generally criminals in disguise with intentions to assault or steal from travellers. Do not travel alone at night or on beaches in coastal tourist areas or any other isolated area.

Petty crime, such as purse snatching, pick-pocketing, and theft from vehicles is common. Travellers should avoid showing signs of affluence and ensure their belongings and documents are secure at all times. Do not leave your bags unattended.

While driving, keep the windows up and the doors locked. Armed attacks sometimes occur on highways, particularly at night and in the southern region of the country between Fianarantsoa and Tulear. Taxis and public transportation are also targeted.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid all non-essential travel to Andohahela National Park and all travel on road RN13 between Ambovombe and Ihosy.

Extreme Violence

There have been recent reports of armed attacks on villages in the Anosy Region of southeast Madagascar resulting in deaths and hundreds of people being displaced. Travellers in the southeast region of Madagascar should exercise extreme caution.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations and looting may occur until a legitimate government is returned to power. Such demonstrations, street disturbances, and political gatherings should be avoided as they can become violent with little warning.

Travellers should ensure they have supplies of food, water, fuel, money and medications in case of extreme civil unrest.

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