Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city?
If you are arriving from a country where yellow fever is prevalent, proof of inoculation must be provided. No other vaccinations or inoculations are required when entering Botswana.
There are some health precautions to be aware of. Of the 60 species of snake in Botswana, 12 are venomous. One precautionary measure is to wear shoes and boots, socks and long trousers if walking through undergrowth. If you see snakes, make a slow retreat, moving steadily and slowly backwards. If you encounter a spitting cobra, it is advisable that you remain still. The snake is very short-sighted and will spit at the first thing that glints. If you remain still, the snake will probably move away.
Bilharzia (a parasitic disease) is an ever-present threat in many African streams and rivers. To avoid contracting bilharzia, one should stay out of the water. The disease is easily cured and cannot be caught by drinking untreated water.
Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat?
Botswana's quarantine and customs regulations are fairly complex. Your Crown moving consultant will help you with any queries you have regarding any issues.
Under the current Botswana health system, little or no medical protection is provided for either citizens or visitors. As a result, it is vital that membership of a medical aid provider or medical insurance be taken out as soon as possible. Private health care is advisable and this tends to be expensive.
There has been an increase in the incidences of malaria throughout Africa. Botswana has an endemic malarial area in northern Botswana during the warmer months (from November to June). It's a good idea to consult a doctor at least two weeks prior to entering Botswana and to take anti-malaria drugs two weeks prior the visit.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin
- Wear light cotton clothing, long sleeves, long trousers and closed shoes after sunset
- Treat clothes with insecticide
- Use mosquito nets or coils
- During the rainy season, the risk of malaria is higher
There is no need to take anti-malaria drugs in Gaborone as the high risk is to the north.
What is the word for "doctor" in the local language?
In Tswana, the word for "doctor" is "Ngaka." English is widely spoken there so either word should be effective.
What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider?
The best way to locate a health-care provider is by going to Gaborone Private Hospital. They have many doctors from different fields that will refer you to someone else if they can't help.
Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go?
No, you'll be able to get medical care in the area. Although public or government hospitals are stretched to the limit and their facilities are not always up to the standard that First World visitors are used to, you are able and advised to use private doctors and hospitals when the need arises.
The private medical service is good, with highly trained and sophisticated doctors and state-of-the-art equipment installed, to ensure the highest standards are maintained.
Gaborone has one private hospital: Gaborone Private Hospital (Life Healthcare).
Baby clinic facilities are found at all the major hospitals and chemists.
The major hospitals offer 24-hour emergency services and many doctors have their consulting rooms in or close to the hospitals.
What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police.
Emergency telephone numbers are:
- Ambulance 997
- Fire 998
- Police 999
- Med Rescue 911
What do I do if there's an emergency in the middle of the night—or at another time when my normal doctor/clinic is unavailable?
The major hospitals have 24-hour emergency services, as do some of the smaller clinics. Identify your closest emergency service as a matter of priority and use that facility in dire emergencies.
How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language?
Pharmacies are known as both chemist and pharmacy. The English word will normally be displayed as well. Chain pharmacies in Gaborone are Lulu Pharm and Medpharm.
Is the water safe to drink?
Tap water is perfectly safe to drink, but under no circumstances should you drink water in an informal or shanty settlement as this comes from streams and rivers.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.