Haiti

Haiti

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Republic of Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic to the east. The country is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The population of Haiti is about 9.8 million people.

The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. In 1697, the western third of the island came under French control and became known as Haiti. Slave importation increased very rapidly, enabling Haiti to became one of the wealthiest Caribbean islands. In 1791 Toussaint L’Ouverture led a revolution by the slaves against the French, and by 1804, Haiti had achieved independence from France and freedom from slavery.

Through the years, Haiti has experienced political violence, instability, various dictatorships, human rights violations and repressive, corrupt governments. In 2006, Haiti finally achieved a democratic government, with an elected president and parliament. The president is chief of state, and a prime minister is head of government.

Haiti is often described as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with a weak economy, high rate of unemployment, and environmental degradation. The country still struggles with the effects of recent disasters. In January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake stuck Haiti, leaving Port-au-Prince and most of the country devastated. About 250,000 people were killed, and about a million people left homeless. A cholera epidemic introduced after the earthquake killed an additional 7,000 people, and a 2012 hurricane left even more devastation.

Currency HTG: The Gourde
Language French and Haitian Creole
Capital Port-au-Prince
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert November 20, 2017 - Diphtheria occurs sporadically in several countries in the Americas

Diseases To Be Aware Of

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

Hepatitis A

There is a high risk of exposure to hepatitis A in Haiti.

Hepatitis B

There is a high risk of exposure to hepatitis B in Haiti.

Typhoid Fever

There is a high risk of typhoid fever in Haiti, especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through contaminated food or water.

Rabies

There is a significant risk of exposure to rabies in Haiti through contact with stray animals and in any activities that might involve direct contact with bats, carnivores, and other mammals.

Malaria

All areas of Haiti are at risk for exposure to malaria.

Cholera

There is a very high risk of exposure to cholera in Haiti where there have been serious epidemics of this disease.

Dengue Fever

There is a risk of dengue fever exposure on Haiti.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

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.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers over one year of age arriving from countries/territories at risk for yellow fever transmission. Travellers transiting through Haiti are exempt. Travellers who have transited through an airport in a country/territory at risk for yellow fever transmission are also exempt. Also, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers over 1 year of age who are departing Haiti if travelling to countries/territories at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Vaccinations to Consider

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

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Hepatitis A vaccination is highly recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

Unvaccinated travellers are at 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, rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

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.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in this country. However, this country requires a yellow fever vaccination certificate for travellers over one year of age arriving from countries/territories at risk for yellow fever transmission. Travellers transiting through Haiti are exempt. Travellers who have transited through an airport in a country/territory at risk for yellow fever transmission are also exempt. Also, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers over 1 year of age who are departing Haiti if travelling to countries/territories at risk for yellow fever transmission.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

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

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications include atovaquone-proguanil, chloroquine, doxycycline, or mefloquine.

Safety and Security in Haiti

Emergency Numbers

114 This number may not work in parts of Haiti.
572 Reliable rape crisis emergency hotline run by non-profit group

There is no real central emergency service in Haiti. Authorities may not be able to respond at all to an emergency situation. Travellers should check with their embassy or consular office for services.

Personal Safety

Travellers should carefully consider their need to travel to Haiti. The security situation in Haiti is highly unstable, with a high risk of violent crime and lawlessness.

Due to the lack of infrastructure and emergency services in Haiti, those travelling to this country are advised to have pre-arranged plans to be attached to an organization that has arrangements for personal security. Travellers should have contingency plans for safety, emergencies and medical evacuation. Medical facilities are limited with a poor standard of care.

There is a high risk of assault and robbery in Haiti, as well as a high risk of kidnapping. Foreigners have been killed in kidnappings and robberies. Avoid showing signs of wealth and keep valuables out of sight to avoid being targeted for theft. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Do not carry large sums of cash.

Avoid travelling at night. If travelling at night is unavoidable, keep doors locked and windows up.

Do not use public transportation. Use rental cars from a reliable agency with a local driver.

Areas To Avoid

The road to Port-au-Prince airport is particularly dangerous, and violent crime has occurred on this road.

Avoid all travel to certain neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince, including Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Martissant and Bel Air due to the risk of serious crime.

Extreme Violence

There is a high risk for violent crime.

Political Unrest

Due to the unpredictable security situation and lack of resources to respond to emergency situations, completely avoid any public gatherings or demonstrations. Protests may occur unexpectedly. There is a high risk that these situations can turn violent. There have been reports of foreigners being caught in a demonstration area and attacked. Have a contingency plan if caught in a dangerous situation.

Get A Free Account!

Sitata uses advanced software algorithms to monitor the world for disease outbreaks and safety hazards. Each travel alert published by Sitata is reviewed by staff to ensure it meets the concerns of a traveller.

Sign up for a free account so that you can prepare for your trip and view the latest alerts.

Plan A Trip