The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Nigeria is a developing nation in the lower half of the world's economies. Located in western Africa, the climate is hot and rainy in the south, tropical in the center, and arid in the north.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
An official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary. Vaccination is usually recommended if you’ll be traveling in areas where there is risk of yellow fever transmission.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 1 year coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. Note: Proof of YF vaccination is often required for travelers coming from nonrisk countries, despite Nigeria's published declaration to the contrary under the International Health Regulations.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, typhoid fever, or a one time polio booster if you haven't previously received one for travel. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2013) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the whole country.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: High.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum >85%, P. ovale 5%-10%, P. vivax rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to terrorism, ongoing violence, and other ongoing security concerns, Canada (GAC) advises avoiding travel to the northern and central states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, and Yobe and to the southeastern states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, and Rivers (except advises reconsidering travel [or avoiding nonessential travel] to Port Harcourt); and advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to the rest of the country. U.S. (DOS), U.K. (FCO), and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by domestic terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in northern areas, Abuja, and Lagos. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in northern areas. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking) and petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in Abuja, Lagos, and other cities.
Kidnappings by criminal groups occur throughout the country, especially in southern and southwestern areas (including the Niger Delta, Port Hartcourt, and Lagos). Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), as well as those working for oil companies.
Scams involving ATMs, credit cards, and a wide range of financial activities have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Piracy occurs off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea, with armed gangs boarding commercial and private vessels to rob travelers. The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal acts at sea.
Hazardous water conditions (including currents, tides, and undertows) may occur. Heed posted warnings and avoid beaches that are not patrolled. Do not swim alone or after dark, and do not walk on any beach after dark.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Other Safety Threats
Niger Delta states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Anambra and Rivers: The security situation in the Niger River Delta region, particularly in the states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers, is fragile. Foreign nationals are at a heightened risk of abduction and armed assault. Armed groups have carried out successful attacks on oil facilities and workers, resulting in injuries and deaths. Attacks, kidnappings, hostage takings, and ship hijackings are very common in this extremely volatile area. Remain extremely vigilant if in the city of Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and surrounding areas, as the potential for violent outbreaks, armed attacks, and kidnapping is very high. Avoid the waterfront at all times, and avoid public places in Port Harcourt frequented by expatriates, including bars and restaurants. Abia, Imo, and Anambra states have seen an increase in kidnappings for ransom, as well as indiscriminate violent acts perpetrated by small groups of armed individuals. Residents and foreigners alike have been abducted and held captive for ransom. Deaths have also been reported.
Northern Nigeria: If planning to work in northern Nigeria, even in areas that are not subject to specific advice against travel, a high level of security is required. Inquire with employers about security arrangements and request that they review them in light of recent kidnaps of Westerners from protected compounds. Ensure that they are able to provide an adequate level of security for a high threat from terrorism.
Northeastern states of Borno, Gombe and Yobe: There is a high threat of domestic terrorism in Borno and Yobe states.
Plateau State, including the city of Jos: The city of Jos has witnessed frequent episodes of inter-communal violence since 2001. Hundreds of people have died in violent clashes. Violence has also been reported in other areas of the state. The situation in Jos remains unstable and demonstrations, which have the potential to turn violent, may erupt without notice.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is < 10 in most high-income countries. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
The rainy season is from June through October. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Sandstorms and dust storms occur from November through April.
Extreme heat (which can lead to heat-related illness) occurs from November through April, especially in northern areas.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Nigeria
- United States: [+234] 9-461-4000; ng.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+234] 9-461-2900; www.canadainternational.gc.ca/nigeria
- United Kingdom: [+234] 9-462-3100; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-high-commission-abuja
- Australia: [+234] 9-461-2780; nigeria.embassy.gov.au
Nigeria's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.nigeriaembassyusa.org
- In Canada: www.nigeriahcottawa.ca
- In the U.K.: www.nigeriahc.org.uk
- In Australia: nigeria-can.org.au
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.