In order to obtain a Ghanaian visa and ensure a safe journey, participants must be vaccinated. Proof of having received mandatory vaccinations must be submitted as part of your Ghanaian visa application and is also required upon entry into the country. 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 areas causing further delays. Participants are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with their healthcare provider or local travel clinic 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 as they may have to search for 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 (1) 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 and prevention methods.
Hepatitis A: The CDC recommends this vaccine due to the facts that travelers can contract hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Ghana, regardless of where they may be are eating or staying.
Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B can be contracted 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 (activities, many of which, are prohibited by SSSA)
Typhoid: Typhoid can be contracted through contaminated food or water. The CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially for those staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or who consider themselves adventurous eaters.
Cholera: Cholera is a risk in Ghana, and the 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. The 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 some dogs, bats, and other mammals in Ghana, so the 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. You will also need copies of your proof of vaccination to provide to airport security and customs upon arrival to Ghana.
If you are a student and 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. Which means that you should make an appointment with your health center before school school closes for the summer to receive proof that you were vaccinated. If you are unable to do this, call you campus health center's office in advance to see how you can receive the necessary documentation over the summer.
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 webpage.