Togo Medical Insurance
Togo is woefully underserved by its health care professionals; the country has only 5 physicians and 27 nurses and midwives per 100,000 population. These figures represent about one fifth of the already low African average. Inequities in access to care are vast between rural and urban, and between rich and poor Togolese. For example, only 40 percent of rural births will be assisted by an accredited medical profession, but 93 percent of urban births have such care.
As to be expected in a country with such extreme poverty, only about 60 percent of Togolese have access to drinking water, which represents steady improvement over the past two decades. However, this figure masks regional inequalities as only about 40 percent of the rural population has access to a source of potable drinking water. Less than 20 percent of the Togolese population have access to improved sanitation facilities, which may explain some of the persistent prevalence of communicable diseases.
While HIV / AIDS is a major health concern in the region, reported cases in Togo are actually below the African average, though still quadruple the global norm. Tuberculosis is a serious problem in Togo, with 930 cases per 100,000 population, which is nearly twice the regional average and more than five times the global figure. It is estimated that approximately 50 percent of tuberculosis cases in Togo are unreported or not tracked, and that many are drug resistant strains of the disease.
Prior to departing for Togo it is highly recommended that all travellers, or long term visitors, consult a medical professional who specializes in travel medicine. There are a number of routine vaccinations which should be up to date before arriving in the country, including; Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT), Polio, Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR). In addition to this, vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B, as well as Typhoid and Rabies should also be current. Travellers to Togo who are above one year of age are required to have a Yellow fever vaccination – without such a vaccination you may be refused entry from the country. Meningococcal diseases pose a threat throughout Togo, and as such, all travellers are advised to receive a vaccination against meningitis.
Togo contains some tropical environments and outbreaks of malaria are common. In 2008 there were nearly 900,000 cases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Precautionary measures include: anti-malarial pills, which should be bought prior to departure for the country, reputable insect repellents which should include the chemical DEET, the use of mosquito nets at night while sleeping, and the wearing of long sleeved clothing while outside during the day. Atovaquone, proguanil, doxycycline and mefloquine are recommended drugs in Togo; note that chloroquine is not effective in treating malaria in Togo. Halofantrine has serious side effects and should only be used in an emergency when there are no other options available.
Togo is prone to other Insect-borne diseases aside from Malaria. River Blindness (Onochocerciasis), leishmaniasis, filariasis, and African sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) are all concerns throughout the country. Parasitic diseases present in Togo include such diseases as schistosomiasis. Additionally, it is important to note that, in the last decade, there have also been a number of cases of the Plague (Yersina Pestis) throughout the Togolese countryside. Regional, and worldwide health concerns present in Togo include; avian flu, typhoid, Lassa virus, and Polio, as well as tuberculosis and HIV. Water filters and purification tablets, iodine pills, sunscreen lotion, latex condoms, anti-diarrheal pills, and high strength alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be carried with you to the country.
Togolese health care resources, especially in remote areas can be very poor – most rural clinics will be unable to provide any medical treatment outside of basic emergency care. Extra precautions should be made before making a trip to Togo. Due to the very limited local private health insurance options, arrangements must be made before travel. Emergency evacuation is usually required for situations requiring serious medical attention; therefore it is advised that a Togo health insurance plan, providing an emergency medical evacuation benefit, should be purchased in advance of departure.
If you are planning to visit west Africa and Togo is on your itinerary, Pacific Prime can assist with your travel health insurance or Togo Medical insurance needs. Our experienced and capable teams worldwide will provide a free consultation anytime 24 hours per day, with options for solo travellers, families and tour groups. Policies cover medical services including: dental, maternity, specialist consultation, transportation, inpatient services and more. Contact a Pacific Prime advisor for further medical insurance details today.