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Traveling to Rwanda? You Will Need Health Insurance

by Pilar Dujan | Tue 28 Mar 2023
Green hills in Rwanda

How the healthcare system works in Rwanda

To understand where Rwanda is now, it’s important to go back and see where it was

At the end of the last century, the healthcare system of Rwanda was, for lack of a better word, absolutely destroyed. The people had no money to cover the costs of treatment and many cities and small towns had no options to take care of their citizens health.

However, the Rwandan Health Ministry came up with a project of health insurance that now covers pretty much the entire country. This is the Mutuelle de Santé

The Mutuelle de Santé is special because of its sliding scale: the wealthiest of the country pay more and the poorest, selected by their own communities, pay nothing. This helped improve the health of the citizens and mortality went down across the board.

All You Need to Know to Maximize your Security in Rwanda

Contrary to what you may believe, Rwanda is one of the safest destinations in Africa, and the locals are welcoming and hospitable. 

There are some basic security guidelines that you should follow to make sure you have the best possible experience, but nothing that you haven’t heard before. 

For example, we recommend avoiding crowded places such as the big markets: they are prime spots for robberies. You should also avoid speaking out of turn about the country’s 1994 genocide as you will most likely be fined. 

Another curious tidbit? Plastic bags are illegal! Pick your best tote bags and put them in your suitcase, otherwise you could be subjected to bag searches and fines.

Furthermore, remember that it’s forbidden to photograph military and government buildings and that, although it’s not illegal, homosexuality is still considered taboo.

This article will expand on this and give you all the information that you need to have the best trip possible

You Need Prime Health Insurance For Rwanda: This is Why

First of all, purchasing health insurance before travel is mandatory for tourists who wish to visit Rwanda. But this is not the only reason to get it. 

Although Rwanda is a safe country, you are still at risk of contracting diseases as common as food poisoning or heat stroke. In this case, having prime health insurance that also includes the medical evacuation service could possibly be life-saving. 

What is a medical evacuation? If you have any issues, being airlifted from your location and transported to the best medical facilities available could be extremely expensive. Insurance helps make sure that if you need this service, cost will not be an impediment. 

Woman carrying beans over her head

Protecting Your Health in Rwanda: Last Tips

The best travel insurance in Rwanda will be the one that makes you feel safest. However, if you would like to know some things to make sure you pick the best one for your trip, here are some health tips.

These are some recommended vaccines:

  • Be up to date on all vaccinations: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio and a yearly flu shot
  • Vaccines for rabies, yellow fever, hepatitis A and B and typhoid are also recommended

For food and drink, you should:

  • Eat food that is cooked and served hot, nothing raw under any circumstances and pasteurized dairy products only
  • Only eat fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself 
  • Drink bottled water that is sealed or water that has been disinfected
  • Only accept ice made with bottled or disinfected water
  • Avoid tap or well water at any cost
  • Drink carbonated drinks, hot coffee or hot tea (they are pretty much safe everywhere)

Tips to take into account if you’re outdoors:

  • Heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses can be deadly. Drink water regularly, wear light clothing and keep salty snacks in your bag in case you need to replace the salt you lost through sweating. Always use sunscreen
  • Don’t swim in empty areas, only in designated zones, preferably with lifeguards just in case.
  • Wear shoes on beaches with animals. Its waste could cause infections in even the smallest cuts.
  • Avoid swimming in fresh water without chlorine because of infections. This would be the case of ponds, lakes or rivers.
  • Keep away from animals, especially those you don’t know where they came from.

Also, Rwanda still has some problems with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). You should keep this in the back of your mind for all interactions and activities in the country. 

Last but not least, keep in mind that malaria is an issue in some african countries like Rwanda. It is best to travel with anti-malarial medicine already packed. Always use insect repellent and sleep within bed nets to avoid getting bit.

Remember to get prime insurance for Rwanda. Yes, it’s mandatory, but it will also help you in case of any emergency.

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