Travelling is a great way to meet people and experience new cultures. Caution is advised, however, since travellers may be exposed to poor sanitary conditions and diseases that are uncommon in Canada.
Several measures can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting an infection. This document provides travellers with precautions that should be taken, by destination, to stay safe and healthy while travelling.
Embassy of Canada
Consulate of Canada
In case of emergency, dial 911.
Before your stay
Immunizations and screenings
Below is a list of immunizations (vaccines) and screenings recommended or required by local health authorities for Canadians travelling to this destination. Note that these are general recommendations. For a personalized protection program adapted to your travelling and health needs, visit a Travel Health Clinic. If you need several vaccines, plan ahead and give yourself several weeks to complete the immunization schedule.
General vaccination and immunization
Vaccines, including diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis and measles are part of Canada's routine immunization schedule. Check to make sure that you have been vaccinated and that you have received the required booster doses. Special recommendations may apply to poliomyelitis, refer to the specialized agencies.
Cholera is present in this country. Protection and/or vaccination should be considered for certain travellers.
Vaccination is recommended for most travellers.
Malaria is present in certain regions of the country. Consequently, prophylaxis is recommended in these regions. Drugs of choice are: atovaquone proguanil, doxycycline, and mefloquine. Also, mosquito protection may lower the risk of contracting mosquito-borne infections such as malaria.
Most travellers should consider vaccination. Transmission occurs via the fecal-oral route, especially through the ingestion of contaminated food or water.
When planning a trip, it is recommended that you consult official notices from the Canadian government and your travel destination. You may need to comply with entry requirements at your destination and upon your return to Canada. In addition, complete vaccination is recommended for most travellers. A vaccination certificate may be required.
Vaccination is recommended for most travellers.
Vaccination is recommended for any stay longer than one month in endemic regions. It should also be considered if travelling to at-risk areas (e.g., rural area) or if an outbreak is underway in the area, even if staying less than one month.
Vaccination is recommended for certain groups of travellers only. This includes people who will work there as veterinarians, wildlife workers or spelunkers, as well as adventure travellers. Vaccination is also recommended for children in special circumstances.
During your stay
Once there, stay alert as you could be exposed to other diseases for which no vaccines or preventive treatments are available.
Mosquito protection is recommended at all times in certain regions of the country.
Schistosomiasis is present in certain regions of the country. Avoid all contact with fresh water (swimming, fishing, drinking untreated water).
Dengue fever may be present in this country. To avoid infection, mosquito protection is recommended.
Mosquito protection is essential throughout the country. Women who are pregnant and couples trying to conceive should take appropriate measures while travelling, and for several months after their return.
It is recommended that travellers purchase a travel insurance policy that includes a 24-hour emergency assistance service to help them access care and coordinate payment. Be sure to have your insurance company’s phone number with you at all times.
It is also recommended that you sign up for the “Registration of Canadians Abroad” service. This is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest. For more information, visit the Government of Canada website at: travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration.
The Canadian Government has several offices abroad that can provide you with various services when faced with a medical emergency, including:
- Providing you with names of doctors and health care facilities.
- Visiting you in the hospital and providing translation/interpretation services.
- Arranging for a medical evacuation if you require treatment that is not available in the area (note: costs for this service will not be covered by the government but are usually covered by your travel insurance).
Make sure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay. Several countries also require travelers’ passports to be valid up to six months beyond the expected return date.