Population: 34.66 million
Time zone: Afghanistan Time (AFT)
Official languages: Dari & Pashto
Emergency #: 112
Vaccinations required: Yes
Risk of malaria: Yes
Afghanistan (officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) is a mountainous country that includes tourist destinations such as Kabul Museum, Buddha Niches, Bala Hissar & City Walls, Minaret of Jam and Old City.
Due to decades of conflict, medical care in Afghanistan is well below international standards and there is a shortage of basic medical supplies and facilities. The standards for patient care and medical services in Afghanistan will differ from your home country.
Afghanistan has public and private health sectors. The healthcare system has improved recently in both infrastructure and service delivery but there is still a shortage of doctors and nurses. Healthcare-related infections are commonly acquired due to poor sanitation. Private health sectors lack effective regulation and some individuals may not have a valid practicing license.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Afghanistan typically require upfront payment in cash, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Due to limited healthcare services, medical evacuation is necessary for any serious medical emergency. However, due to safety concerns, many medical evacuation companies do not operate in Afghanistan and evacuation on military flights may be required. Check with your insurer and evacuation company about the extent of their coverage in Afghanistan.
Pharmacies in Afghanistan are not adequately stocked. Basic medications may be unavailable or in short supply. Avoid purchasing medications from markets or unlicensed pharmacies as fake medications are a common problem.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Afghanistan's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Roads in Afghanistan are poorly constructed and not well lit at night. Rural roads are often not paved and vehicles are not maintained to safety standards. Public transportation is not reliable or safe. There is no national seat belt law but all passengers should wear their seat belt at all times. Road travel can also be dangerous due to landmines near roadways and high criminal activity.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Afghanistan. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary: