In order to obtain a Ghanaian visa and ensure a safe journey, participantsmust be vaccinated.
The following vaccination recommendations have been taken from the Center for Disease Control and comply with the Ghanaian government's health requirements for entry. For more information on vaccinations and preventing illness while abroad visit the CDC's Health Information for Travelers to Ghana page.
All travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations. These vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. Aside from these general recommendations, proof of having received mandatory vaccinations must be submitted as part of your Ghanaian visa application. For this reason vaccinations must be completed in a timely manner. Scheduling a doctors appointment, receiving vaccines & obtaining documentation of your treatment can take some weeks. There can also be a shortage of certain vaccinations in some city and states so there can be a delay in making an appointment. For these reasons, participants should make an appointment with their healthcare provider today.
Yellow fever: Yellow fever is a risk in Ghana, so the CDC recommends this vaccine for all travelers who are 9 months of age or older. Additionally, the government of Ghana requires proof of yellow fever vaccination for all travelers, except infants. In recent years there has been a shortage of yellow fever vaccines in many U.S. hospitals. Some patients have had to wait extended periods of time (from weeks to months) to receive the vaccine. For this reason participants are encouraged to make an appointment with their healthcare provider today and "shop around" to find a facility that has the vaccine in stock. To learn more about yellow fever click here. To learn more about the yellow fever vaccine shortage click here.
Malaria: Malaria is a risk in Ghana and all participants traveling with SSSA are required to follow the CDC's recommendations on preventing malaria. Participants will need to take prescription medicine (one week)before, during, and after their trip to prevent malaria. Your doctor can help you decide which medicine is right for you, and also talk to you about other steps you can take to prevent malaria. Click here to learn more about malaria.
Hepatitis A: CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Ghana, regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Hepatitis B: You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
Typhoid: You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Ghana. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
Cholera: Cholera is a risk in Ghana, and CDC recommends this vaccine for adults who are traveling to an area of active cholera transmission. However, because cholera is extremely rare in travelers (on average, cholera affects only 0.5–4.0 people out of every 1 million travelers to a risk area), your health care provider may consider additional risk factors.
Meningitis: Ghana is part of the “meningitis belt” of sub-Saharan Africa. CDC recommends this vaccine if you plan to visit Ghana during the dry season (December–June), when the disease is most common.
Rabies: Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Ghana, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups: 1. Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites. 2. People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers). 3. People who are taking long trips or moving to Ghana. 4. Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
Already received the required vaccinations?
Make sure that you have documentation of your vaccination to provide to the Ghanaian embassy for your visa application. If you received the required vaccinations from your campus health center please be aware that 1) campus health centers are often closed or have limited hours during summer break 2) medical facilities often require patients to come in person to retrieve their medical records. This means that you should make an appointment with your health center BEFORE SCHOOL CLOSES FOR THE SUMMER to receive proof that you were vaccinated. If you are unable to do this, call them to see how you can receive the necessary documentation over the summer.