Health Insurance in Niger
Living in or traveling to Niger? Chances are you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the country’s healthcare system as you may need to access health services while you’re there. This guide contains everything you need to know in one place, along with information on securing health insurance in Niger. Read on to learn more, or click below for a free quote!
The Republic of Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa bordered by Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Algeria. The previously French colony gained its independence in 1960 and has French as its official language. It has an area of 1.267 million square kilometers, though 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert. Niger’s 22.4 million population are predominantly Muslim, living mostly in clusters in the far south and west of the country. The capital and largest city is Niamey, which is located in the southwest corner. As a developing country, Niger consistently ranks near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index.
Healthcare system in Niger
Given that Niger has one of the poorest economies in the world and suffers from frequent periods of severe droughts that diminish its food resources, this has negatively affected the population’s health. In addition to this, the country’s history of political instability and corruption have contributed to the country’s poor standard of social, health, and welfare conditions.
Government hospitals are mainly located in the capital Niamey, as well as Maradi, Zinder, and Tahoua. In smaller towns, there are medical centers. There are also a handful of private hospitals and clinics in Niger. With that said, healthcare in Niger is provided largely by charitable, religious, and non-government organizations. International healthcare aides work within Niger's government facilities and in support of healthcare projects that are administered in urban and rural communities.
Quality of care
Healthcare facilities in Niger are inadequate compared to Western standards and the country is unable to meet the healthcare needs of its population due to insufficient funding. It has one of the lowest doctor-patient ratios in the world and routinely faces shortages of healthcare staff, medical equipment, and basic medication.
Emergency services in Niger are inadequate. As such, emergency evacuation to a hospital overseas, typically to Morocco, is required. The cost of air transportation is highly expensive. It’s advisable to secure an international health insurance plan in Niger that includes coverage for emergency evacuation and repatriation, as well as coverage for medical expenses within Niger and overseas.
Niger Travel Advice
If you’re making a trip to Niger, you should bear in mind the following. In case of health emergencies whilst you’re out there, it’s also a good idea to have a good travel insurance plan.
Niger is susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases due to its poor ability to appropriately manage and control communicable diseases. Lack of healthcare resources, poor sanitation, and limited access to potable water put this developing country at a high risk of disease outbreaks.
Communicable diseases that are highly prevalent include, but are not limited to, respiratory infections, hepatitis A, malaria, rabies, measles, tetanus, and waterborne parasitical and bacterial infections.
Vaccinations are recommended for expats and travelers to Niger to assist in the protection against hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, yellow fever, meningococcal diseases, and rabies. Please consult this with your general practitioner before traveling.
Food and water
To minimize the risk of getting sick in Niger, practice good hygiene, such as washing hands prior to handling food and after use of the toilet. You should also drink only bottled water, or ensure the water is purified. When it comes to food, opt for cooked food instead of raw foods.
Crime and Safety
Levels of crime such as theft and robberies can be high in Niger due to poverty. Be sure to mind your belongings and take precautions. In addition to this, certain regions have a high risk of kidnapping and violent activity, with international government bodies placing restrictions on traveling to some regions in the country.
The security situation is also unpredictable in Niger, so you should exercise high caution and monitor the media for travel warnings and restrictions within Niger. Kidnappings have occurred in the past decade, particularly against westerners. Theft and violence are not uncommon in Niger and during an election, public riots can turn violent.
Please note that the information on this page is not fully comprehensive and is subject to change without prior warning. It is advisable to consult with a local Niger embassy should you have any doubts before you depart on your journey.
Private health insurance for expats in Niger
Looking to secure a comprehensive health insurance plan in Niger? Look no further than Pacific Prime, as we partner with the best insurers to offer expat health insurance plans to foreign nationals in Niger. It’ll enable you to access quality healthcare services anywhere in the world, avoid paying out-of-pocket expenses, and benefit from our top-notch value-added services.
If you prefer it, we can also help you find Niger health insurance plans with no deductibles or excesses, as well as plans with a range of added benefits like outpatient treatment, dental, vision, maternity, and more. To learn more about your options, get in touch with us for a no-obligation quote and insurance consultation!