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).
Ethiopia is a developing nation classified as low income. Located in eastern Africa (north of Somalia and south of Sudan), the climate classifications range from humid equatorial (long dry season) to dry (arid), with cooler temperatures in some high-altitude areas.
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 ≥ 9 months coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. This also applies to airport transit stops (no exit through immigration checkpoint) longer than 12 hours in risk countries.
- 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 US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2020) Malaria risk due to approximately 60% P. falciparum and 40% P. vivax exists throughout the year in the entire country below 2000 m. P. vivax resistance to chloroquine reported. There is no malaria risk in Addis Ababa.
- Recommended prevention in risk areas: 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 areas below 2,500 m (8,202 ft), except none in the city of Addis Ababa (see Map 3-28).
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 60%–70%, P. vivax 30%–40%, P. malariae and P. ovale 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.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
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, armed conflict, and other ongoing security concerns, US (DOS), advises avoiding travel to areas bordering Kenya, Eritrea, Somalia, and South Sudan, and advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to Somali Regional State; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Regional State; Oromia Regional State (western areas and Guji and East Hararghe zones); and Binshangul Gumuz Regional State. UK (FCO), Canada (GAC), and Australia (DFAT) have more limited warnings.
High risk of attack by domestic and transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country, including Addis Ababa. 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 in Somali State and areas bordering Kenya and Eritrea, including the Danakil Desert area. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners and those working for oil companies), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
Moderate risk of violent crime (armed robbery and carjacking) and high risk of petty crime exist in Addis Ababa (especially near hotels frequented by foreigners; in Entoto; on Bole Road; in the Merkato, Piazza, and surrounding areas) and on remote highways.
Theft of valuables from unattended vehicles is common.
Protests and demonstrations frequently occur throughout the country, especially in Oromia Regional State and in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Regional State, 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 and ethnic tensions may be present in areas bordering Sudan, South Sudan (including Gambella People's Regional State), Kenya (including Oromia State), and Eritrea. Landmines are present in areas bordering other countries.
Desert excursions should only be undertaken with organized groups and experienced guides. Participants should inform someone not on the tour of their itinerary and anticipated return time. An adequate supply of food and water for extended unforeseen delays is essential.
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.
Seat belt laws are poorly enforced.
Drunk driving laws are poorly enforced.
Structural standards for vehicles may not meet international standards.
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 September. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Ethiopia
- United States: [+251] 111-30-60-00; et.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+251] 11-371-00-00; www.canadainternational.gc.ca/ethiopia-ethiopie
- United Kingdom: [+251] 11-6170100; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-addis-ababa
- Australia: [+251] 11-667-2678; ethiopia.embassy.gov.au
Ethiopia's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.ethiopianembassy.org
- In Canada: [+1] 613-565-6637
- In the U.K.: www.ethioembassy.org.uk
- In Australia: [61+] 02-62959984
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.