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).
Ghana is a developing nation in the lower half of the world's economies. Located in western Africa along the Gulf of Guinea (east of Côte d'Ivoire and west of Togo), the climate classifications range from humid equatorial (long dry season) in the south to dry (semi arid) in the north.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for all travelers aged ≥ 9 months.
- 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, or typhoid fever. 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)(2018) 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.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: High.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 90%, 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.
Risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Moderate risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, sexual assault, carjacking, and assault) exists throughout the country, especially in Accra; in Kumasi, Takoradi, and other parts of the Ashanti Region; on the Accra–Tema and Accra–Kumasi–Tamale highways.
Moderate risk of petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in hotels, on beaches, and in Accra (particularly at Kotoka International Airport).
Kidnappings by criminal groups occur in Accra, Takoradi, and Kumasi. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, missionaries, and aid workers.
Scams involving credit cards, precious metals, false befriending, and false identity (such as criminals posing as police officers or staff at Kotoka International Airport) have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in Accra, 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.
Ethnic tensions may be present in Northern, Upper East, and Volta regions.
Piracy (involving commercial vessels) may occur in coastal and international waters.
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.
Significant risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is greater 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. 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.
Public and private buses and taxis do not meet international safety standards (due to unsafe vehicles, poor maintenance, and hazardous driving).
Due to security concerns, travel on roads between the towns of Kintampo and Tamale; Accra and the cities of Tema or Tamale; and in areas of the Ashanti Region is unsafe. Avoid road travel outside of urban areas after dark.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country does not oversee its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
The rainy season is from March through November. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Sandstorms and dust storms occur from January through March.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Ghana
- United States: [+233] 030-274-1000; gh.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+233] 30-2211 521; www.canadainternational.gc.ca/ghana
- United Kingdom: [+233] 302-213-250; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-high-commission-accra
- Australia: [+233] 302-216-400; www.ghana.embassy.gov.au
Ghana's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.ghanaembassy.org
- In Canada: www.ghc-ca.com
- In the U.K.: www.ghanahighcommissionuk.com
- In Australia: www.ghanahighcom.org.au
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.