IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Madagascar

Madagascar: At a glance

Capital: Antananarivo

Population: 25.27 million

Official language: French

Time zone: East Africa Time

Emergency #: 997

Vaccinations required: Yes

Risk of malaria: Yes

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Madagascar: Travel Health Information

Madagascar is known for its natural landscapes, wildlife, and ecotourism. Travellers can witness numerous animal species in the wild, such as lemurs, as well as baobabs trees. Visitors can explore the bustling city of Antananarivo and the Rova of Antananarivo (Queen’s Palace) that overlooks it, go hiking in the hills of Parc National Isalo, and swim off Ile Sainte-Marie.

Healthcare

The standards for patient care and medical services in Madagascar may differ from your home country. Madagascar has public and private healthcare options. Public and private hospitals are available in urban areas of the country, particularly Antananarivo. Medical care in rural areas is extremely limited and reliance on traditional, plant-based medicines is common.

Public hospitals in Madagascar are under-funded and lack modern equipment. They often experience a shortage of supplies and healthcare personnel, which can lead to poor medical care. The quality of care in private facilities in Antananarivo is much higher and generally meets an adequate standard.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals and private practitioners in Madagascar require upfront payment, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Evacuation to South Africa may be required for medical emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in Madagascar.

Pharmacies and medications

Pharmacies are more accessible in urban areas than rural areas, where many rely on traditional medicines. In Antananarivo, private facilities can have a better selection of medicines than public facilities. Make sure to pack a sufficient supply of essential medication for the duration of your trip.

If you are travelling with medication, check with Madagascar’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.

Road safety

Main roads in Antananarivo and some major thoroughfares connecting rural areas to the capital are generally well-maintained, but most other roads are in poor condition. One-way streets and heavy congestion are common. Seat belts are required for drivers and passengers of vehicles at all times. Helmets are required for motorcycle drivers and passengers at all times.



Madagascar: At a glance

Capital: Antananarivo

Population: 25.27 million

Official language: French

Time zone: East Africa Time

Emergency #: 997

Vaccinations required: Yes

Risk of malaria: Yes

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