Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

Use Normal Level of Caution
Use High Level of Caution when visiting the following Regions: Oudalan, Soum, 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 1
Latest Alert March 28, 2017 - Lassa fever outbreaks in 5 African countries

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.

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

Personal Safety

Burkina Faso is considered by some to be one of the safest countries in western Africa, however, many western countries warn their citizens about the risks of crime in this country. Travellers should always be cautious and aware of personal security. Petty crime is common, and travellers should avoid carrying valuables or large amounts of cash. Safeguard important documents, such as passports. Avoid walking alone at night. Street crime occurs around the former Central Market in Ouagadougou and also around the UN Circle.

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

There have been reports of armed robberies of private vehicles and public transportation, especially at night.

Avoid road travel between towns at night on both main and secondary roads. On the road between Niger and Burkina Faso, there have been reports of banditry and even the use of land mines to rob trucks. If you must travel by road, travel in a convoy if possible.

Areas To Avoid

Many countries advise against all travel to the northern area of Burkina Faso, especially near the Mali and Niger borders. There have been warnings to avoid travel to the towns of Djibo, Dori, as well as all areas north of the road that connects these two cities.

Extreme Violence

There have been reports of armed robberies in Burkina Faso. With respect to terrorist attacks, there has been little risk of bombings or kidnappings. However, due to the armed conflict in Mali, some countries warn their citizens that terrorist groups could cross the border and carry out attacks in Burkina Faso.

Political Unrest

There have been some demonstrations that have turned violent, although the country is generally politically stable. To minimize safety risk, always avoid any public gatherings or demonstrations.

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