Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following Regions: Soum, Oudalan, and Séno

Burkina Faso is located in Western Africa, north of Ghana and also bordering with the countries of Benin, Mali, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo. Until 1984, Burkina Faso was known as Upper Volta, named for the three branches of the Volta River that run through the country. The population is approximately 18 million people. The government is a parliamentary republic with a president as chief of state and prime minister as head of government.

Burkina Faso gained independence from France in 1960. During the 1970s and 80s, the country underwent multiple military coups. The country is one of the poorest in the world, and the economy and people suffer from the droughts and hunger. There are few natural resources.

Travellers to Burkina Faso can visit the wildlife reserves of Mole, Waza, and Pandjari. At the Nazinga Reserve, there are crocodiles, monkeys, warthogs, antelopes, elephants, and many varieties of birds. Other sites to visit are the Nahouri Peak, and the Voodoo Trail.

Currency XOF: West African CFA franc
Language French; Recognized regional languages are Mòoré, Mandinka, and Bambara
Capital Ouagadougou
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert November 07, 2017 - Dengue fever outbreak continues in Burkina Faso

Diseases To Be Aware Of

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

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Burkina Faso through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Burkina Faso.

Typhoid Fever

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

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Burkina Faso. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked or raw seafood in this country

Meningitis

Meningitis outbreaks may occur in Burkina Faso. Travellers who visit during the dry season (December to June) or expect to have prolonged contact with the local population are especially at risk.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of exposure to yellow fever in this country. All persons 9 months of age or older should be vaccinated against yellow fever. In addition, the country requires a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever if if travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission and ≥9 months of age, including transit in an airport located in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Chikungunya Fever

Outbreaks of chikungunya fever may occur.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Burkina Faso. 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.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Burkina Faso.

Malaria

All areas of Burkina Faso are at risk for malaria.

Zika Fever

Zika fever can occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

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

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.

Meningitis Vaccine

Because this country is located in the sub-Saharan meningitis belt, vaccination against meningitis is recommended if travelling during the dry season (December to June).

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to yellow fever in this country. All persons 9 months of age or older should be vaccinated against yellow fever. In addition, the country requires a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever if if travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission and ≥9 months of age, including transit in an airport located in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

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

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 Burkina Faso.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medications includes atovaquone-proguanil, mefloquine or doxycycline. Resistance to chloroquine and sufadoxime-pyrimethamine has been reported.

Safety and Security in Burkina Faso

Emergency Numbers

17
18
18
16 Military police

Medical facilities are limited. In the event of serious illness or accident, you will need medical evacuation to Europe. Ensure that you have adequate health insurance. 

Personal Safety

Petty crime is common. Be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Avoid carrying valuables or large amounts of cash. Safeguard important documents, such as passports. Avoid walking alone at night. Street crime occurs frequently around the former Central Market in Ouagadougou and also around the UN Circle.

Road travel can be risky. Road conditions can be rough and vehicles may be in very poor condition.

There is a risk of armed robberies of both private and public transportation vehicles. Armed roadside banditry is a problem across the country. The risk increases after dark. There have been reports of robbers shooting at drivers who refuse to stop. Remote and border areas are particularly vulnerable, but there have been attacks on the main road between Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.

Avoid road travel at night between towns on both main and secondary roads. There has been a history of incidents, particularly from Bobo Dioulasso to Côte d’Ivoire, and Fada to Benin and Togo, and also roads in the east to Benin, Bogande and Gayeri. Also exercise caution if travelling by road between Burkina Faso and Niger. Travel in a convoy if possible. Get local advice before departing. Also, where possible, follow a police patrol.

Penalties for drug offenses can be severe.

Do not photograph military or government installations.

Same sex relations are illegal.

Burkina Faso is a conservative country. Respect the customs and traditions.

Areas To Avoid

Avoid all travel to the following parts of Burkina Faso: all areas of the country north north of the line between Orodara- Salanso-Tougan-Ouhigouya-Djibo-Dori; areas within 40 kilometers of the border with Mali (including towns of Sindou, Orodara, Salanso and Nouna); the W National Park in the southeast due to the risk of kidnapping.

Many countries advise against all unnecessary travel to the rest of Burkina Faso, including the capital Ouagadougou.

Extreme Violence

There is a high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping in Burkina Faso.

Political Unrest

Violent political protests have occurred in the past. Always avoid any area of large public gatherings or demonstrations as these situations can unexpectedly and quickly become violent.

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