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 US 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).
Cameroon is a developing nation classified as lower middle income. Located in western Africa (east of Nigeria and north of Equatorial Guinea), the climate is extremely diverse with classifications that range from arid (dry) in the north to humid equatorial (short dry season) in the south.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
A vaccination certificate is required for all travelers aged ≥ 1 year. Note: Reports indicate that lifetime validity is not recognized for vaccinations received prior to 2004 and a general nonrecognition of lifetime validity may sporadically occur for certain visa applicants as well as at immigration checkpoints (mainly Douala International Airport), despite Cameroon's published declaration to the contrary under the International Health Regulations.
Supplementary requirement for exit: Cameroon authorities enforce proof of YF vaccination for travelers departing Cameroon. This exit requirement is to supplement Cameroon's existing entry requirement 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, monkeypox, 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 US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2019) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the entire 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.
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum >85%, P. ovale 5%–10%, P. vivax rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or tafenoquine.4
3 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
4 Primaquine and tafenoquine can cause hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Patients must be screened for G6PD deficiency before starting primaquine or tafenoquine. See Tafenoquine Approved for Malaria Prophylaxis and Treatment for more information.
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.
Other Food-Borne Illnesses
Precautions to prevent brucellosis may be needed.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
Additional concerns include air pollution, anthrax disease, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease, helminths, marine hazards, melioidosis, schistosomiasis, sexually transmitted infections, snakebites, tuberculosis.
The material below includes information from the US Department of State (DOS), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development 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, violent crime, and other ongoing security concerns, US (DOS) advises avoiding travel to North, Far North, North-West, and South-West regions; and advises avoiding travel within 20 km (12.4 miles) of the border with Central African Republic in East and Adamaoua regions. UK (FCO), Canada (GAC), and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, especially in Yaoundé, Douala, and areas bordering Nigeria and Chad. 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 and areas bordering Nigeria, Chad, and Central African Republic. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, sexual assault, carjacking, and murder) exists throughout the country, especially in Yaoundé (La Briquetterie, Mokolo Market, and Mvog-Ada suburbs); Kribi, Maroua, Ngaoundéré, Bafoussam, Melong, and Douala (Nkololun, New Bell, Akwa, Bonabéri, and Village neighborhoods); in hotels in the Mount Manengouba and Jumeaux lakes areas; in areas bordering Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Chad; on major roads, including Bamenda-Banyo, Bafoussam-Banyo, Bafoussam-Doula, and Bafoussam-Yaounde.
High risk of petty crime exists in cities, especially in Yaoundé and on or near public transportation.
Kidnappings by criminal groups occur throughout the country, especially in northern areas and areas bordering Nigeria, Chad, and Central African Republic. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
Scams involving a wide range of financial activities have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur in North-West and South-West regions 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.
Armed conflict occurs in North-West and South-West regions. A dangerous security environment may exist in border areas, particularly in Far North and North regions.
Significant risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road traffic death rate is more than 24 per 100,000 population, the highest risk category. Carefully assess the safety of transportation options before any road travel.
Speed laws are poorly enforced.
Drunk driving laws are poorly enforced.
Structural standards for vehicles may not meet international standards.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Cameroon's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.
The rainy season is from June through September in northern areas and from July through November in southern areas. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Volcanic activity frequently occurs in Cameroon Mountain.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Cameroon
- United States: [+237] 22220-1500; cm.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+237] 222-50-39-00; www.cameroon.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+237] 222-22-07-96; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-high-commission-yaounde
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Cameroon.
Cameroon's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.cameroonembassyusa.org
- In Canada: www.hc-cameroon-ottawa.org
- In the U.K.: www.cameroonhighcommission.co.uk
- In Australia: www.cameroonconsul.com
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.