South Africa Health Facts
All you have to know when visiting or moving to South Africa
South Africa Health Facts | ExpatCapeTown | Last updated 14 June 2023
Are you looking for reliable South Africa Health Facts? Then you should check out our travel health info here.
Moving to South Africa | Living in South Africa
Our South Africa Health Facts will provide some insights on how to protect your health when traveling to South Africa or living in Cape Town.
In South Africa you should take special precautions regarding your health. HIV/Aids are widespread, the risk to contract Hepatitis or Tuberculosis when working in townships or rural areas is prevalent and rabies and typhoid are present in rural areas. There are precautions to take, and for most of the more common diseases you can get vaccinations before your travels. Contact your health care provider or a travel health clinic before you move here or get help here at a local travel clinic. Make sure your immunisation record is up to date or get refresher vaccinations - especially for DTP and MMR.
South Africa Health Facts
Seasonal Influenza is present during the winter months in South Africa as in many other places around the world. There is evidence that not only small children and older or frail people are more at risk, but also teenagers and pregnant women. So if you belong to a high-risk group you should consider the relevant vaccinations. Vaccinations can be received at local pharmacies or at your general practitioner (GP).
However you need to plan in enough time for the vaccinations to work. Here is a standard vaccination schedule (Please discuss this with your health care practitioner!)
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio (DTP): 3 doses over 12 months
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): Check with your doctor re: mainly childhood diseases
- Hepatitis A and B: 3 doses over 6-18 months
- Tuberculosis (TB): BCG one shot, preferrably at least 6 weeks before travel
- Yellow Fever: The vaccination has to be taken 7-10 days before travels to an infected area. Read here which areas in Africa are affected.
- Typhoid: one shot at least two weeks before travel, highly recommended if working/living in rural areas, then booster every two years afterwards
- Meningitis: There are various types of vaccines available, best to enquire with your travel clinic
- Malaria: tablets for protection you need to take a prophylaxis if you travel into certain regions in South Africa, not in the Western Cape or Cape Town. Prophylaxis usually needs to be taken before travel into the malaria regions in South Africa and at least one week after travels.
To get your vaccination status updated, visit any travel health clinic or enquire with your general practitioner (GP) for advice.
Cape Town Travel Clinics | South Africa Health Facts
When already in Cape Town, make sure to have your vaccination card/booklet with you when making an appointment with a local doctor or nurse. These are travel clinics recommended by expats in Cape Town:
- Netcare Travel Clinic in Pinelands: Block A, Park Lane, Alexandra Road, Pinelands, Cape Town 7405, Tel: 021 511 2672 and other locations
- Medicross Kenilworth: Dr Dan Badenhorst, 67 Rosemead Avenue, Kenilworth, Cape Town 7708. Book appointment here.
- Medi-Travel International (including diving medicals): Dr Brauer & Associates. Cape Town Waterfront, Clocktower Building Level 1, Suite 107. Book your appointment here telephonically: 021 419-1888
Cape Town PCR test centres | PCR test centres for travellers
PCR tests are done at various test centres across town. Depending on the severity of the wave, PCR tests for travellers will only be given on appointment (after getting a referral from your GP), after booking on the laboratory test center's website or at specific travel centres. These are test centres were recommended by expats in Cape Town:
Be informed and check your South Africa Health Facts and Information thoroughly. Stay safe and keep well!
Image Source: own graphic/Canva
South Africa Health Facts | Related Pages
Need more info on South Africa?
South Africa Health Facts: Resources
- "National Guidelines for the Treatment of Malaria." South African Department of Health. Accessed 14 June 2023 https://www.health.gov.za/communicable-diseases/ See the .pdf downloadable from that page
- "South Africa-Alerts." National Institute for communicable Diseases (NICD). Accessed 14 June 2023 https://www.nicd.ac.za
- "South Africa." World Health Organisation. Accessed 14 June 2023. https://www.who.int/countries/zaf
- "Health Information for Travellers to South Africa." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2 August 2019. Accessed 21 November 2019. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/clinician/none/south-africa