Your guide to the Republic of the Congo’s healthcare system and private health insurance
Whether you are a traveler or an expat planning to work or stay in the Republic of Congo, this exclusive comprehensive guide from Pacific Prime will touch on the important things you need to know about the country, its healthcare system, and highlight the importance of securing an international health insurance plan.
Read on to learn more, or obtain a no-obligation, free quote below.
About the Republic of Congo
For expats and travelers ready to heed the call of the wild, and are not afraid of the adventures, the Republic of the Congo awaits. The country is full of steamy, lush jungles that are home to half the world’s lowland gorillas, hoards of forest elephants, and swinging, hollering chimpanzees. The Republic of the Congo is one of Africa’s most thrilling natural escapes, boasting three excellent national parks, and numerous hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
The Republic of the Congo’s geography
The Republic of the Congo is bordered in the north by Cameroon and the Central African Republic; in the west by Gabon; in the east by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola in the southwest. The Republic of Congo also has a 25 mile (40km) coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean. The country’s geography is a mix of coastal plains, mountainous terrains, plateaus, and fertile valleys. About 70% of the country's area is covered by dense, rich rainforests.
The size of the Republic of the Congo is nearly three times that of the state Pennsylvania, with an area covering 342,000 km2 (131,854 sq. miles).
Brazzaville, the capital city, is located on the banks of the Congo River and faces the capital of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kinshasa. Brazzaville and Kinshasa are the two closest capitals in the world after Rome and the Vatican.
The Republic of the Congo’s climate
As a country located along the Equator, the average daily temperature is 24 °C (75°F) and the climate is humid. The nightly temperatures vary between 16 °C (61°F) and 21 °C (70 °F). However, these temperatures tend to fluctuate according to the seasons. The dry season usually lasts from June to September. The rainy season begins in October and ends in May, with another short dry season from January to May.
The Republic of the Congo’s demographics
The Republic of the Congo has an estimated population of approximately 5.5 million people, with approximately 536,000 refugees present in 2018. Approximately, 70 percent of the population live in urban areas such as Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or in one of the several towns and villages that line the railway connecting the two cities. Almost 2 million people thrive in the country’s capital, with around 700,000 residing in Pointe-Noire.
The Kongo represent the largest ethnic group at about 48 percent of the population. The second largest group is the Sangha (20 percent) in the northern part of the country, followed by the Teke population of people (17 percent) that reside in the north of Brazzaville. The Boulangui of the northwest and Brazzaville account for 12 percent of the total population, while the Pygmies make up 2 percent. The last one percent consists of foreign expatriates living in the country. The median age of the population in the Republic of Congo is 19.2 years. Life expectancy in the Republic of the Congo is 65.21 years and infant mortality is 31.2.
The Republic of Congo’s official language
The official language is French, but there are an estimated 62 languages spoken in the country.
Healthcare system in the Republic of the Congo
Local public hospitals and medical facilities are severely understaffed, which means they are unable to provide effective treatment options on par with those of western standards. Medical facilities are extremely limited with roughly 20 physicians per 100,000 persons. If you should seek medical treatment within the Republic of Congo, doctors and clinics will expect immediate payment for services.
In the event that you experience a serious illness or accident during your time in the country, evacuation overseas will be necessary to receive quality medical treatment.
Private health clinics
There are modern, private health care clinics and hospitals available in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. If you become seriously ill anywhere in the country during your stay or travels, head immediately to either city for treatment. Prices are unsurprisingly high in these establishments, so it's essential you have a valid health insurance policy to seek reimbursement.
Health risks and recommendations for expats and travelers
Just like many African countries, the Republic of Congo experiences many health issues, including HIV/AIDS, yellow fever, malaria, rabies and much more.
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Republic of the Congo is highest among 15 to 49 year-olds, accounting for around 2,800 to 5,400 deaths in 2018. There are approximately 69,000 to 120,000 people living with the disease in the country. HIV/AIDS is spread by contact with contaminated blood, mother-to-child transmission, and sexual intercourse.
A yellow fever vaccination is a requirement for entry to the Republic of the Congo as the disease remains a threat in all areas of the country. The vaccine is to be administered ten days before arrival and at ten-year intervals following the first treatment. Yellow fever is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito which feeds during daylight hours until dawn and is abundant throughout urban and rural areas in the country.
Malaria is a vector-borne disease, which is transmitted by the anopheles mosquito. Preventative measures such as wearing insect repellent, sleeping in air-conditioned rooms, and using bed-nets are recommended.
Antimalarial drugs and other prescription drugs that are available in your home country are not likely to be available in the Republic of the Congo. You are advised to bring all medications with you, and seek immediate medical attention if you develop a fever of 38 °C (100 °F ) or above for more than one week after being in a malaria-risk area, or within a year of returning to your home nation.
Health advice and recommendations
It is recommended that before you visit the country, you should consult your healthcare professional, preferably one experienced in travel medicine, at least six weeks before departure. This is to ensure you receive the best advice in regards to vaccinations, medications, and precautionary information for the country.
Routine vaccinations such as measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diphtheria/pertussis/ tetanus (DPT), poliovirus vaccine, and hepatitis should be up-to-date.
How to secure the best health insurance plan for the Republic of the Congo
It can be a challenging task to find the best private health insurance policy in the Republic of the Congo. One of the best decisions expats or travelers can make is to consult an experienced insurance broker, like Pacific Prime.
With two decades of experience matching expats with the most optimal health insurance solutions on the market, Pacific Prime leverages its close partnerships with all major insurers and has an extensive portfolio of all the best plans. In addition to having the best health insurance policies, Pacific Prime also offers unparalleled service and outstanding claims support.
Contact Pacific Prime today to secure the best insurance solution with the help of consultants that provide impartial advice and support.