Benin Healthcare and Money

By | May 9, 2022

Health care


Vaccination needed receipt required
Eat Drink 4
Typhoid & Polio Yes
malaria 3
yellow fever 1
cholera 2


The medical facilities are limited and problematic in terms of technology, equipment and/or hygiene, especially outside of the larger cities. Not all medications are available. Doctors and hospitals often require immediate cash payment for services. Taking out travel health insurance and travel repatriation insurance is strongly recommended. An individual first-aid kit should be taken with you and protected according to the temperatures on the way. Check indexdotcom for more information.

Notes vaccinations

[1] Yellow fever vaccination must be given no later than eleven days before entry. Entry is not possible without them. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travelers over the age of one year. Benin is considered a country with yellow fever infection areas (especially in the departments of Atakora and Borgou). Therefore, regardless of country regulations, WHO strongly recommends vaccination for all travelers to yellow fever infected areas. [2] A vaccination certificate against cholera is not an entry requirement, but there is a small risk of infection, especially in the departments of Atlantique and Borgou. To protect yourself, you should practice careful drinking water and food hygiene. Since the effectiveness of the vaccination is disputed, it is advisable to seek medical advice in good time before you travel. However, valid proof of a cholera vaccination is sometimes required when entering overland or from a country with a cholera risk. [3] The risk of malaria is high all year round in all parts of the country, including in the cities. The predominant more dangerous form Plasmodium falciparum (85%) is said to be resistant to chloroquine. Recommendation: mosquito repellent and medicinal prophylaxis. [4] Nationwide there is an increased risk of infection for various infectious diseases (e.g. hepatitis A, typhus, bacterial dysentery, amoebic dysentery, lambliasis, worm diseases), which are transmitted through contaminated food or drinks. Water should generally be drunk before use, Brushing teeth and making ice cubes can either be boiled or otherwise sterilized or bought pre-packaged. When buying packaged water, you should make sure that the original packaging has not been opened. Milk is unpasteurized and should be boiled. Only mix dry and canned milk with sterile water. Consuming pork, mayonnaise, raw salad, and dairy products made from uncooked milk should be avoided. Meat or fish dishes should only be eaten well cooked and served hot. Fruit should be peeled and vegetables should be boiled.

Other risks

Schistosomiasis pathogens are found in ponds and rivers, so swimming and wading in inland waterways should be avoided. Well-maintained swimming pools with chlorinated water are safe. Filariasis, caused by insects, occurs nationwide. Travelers reduce the risk of transmission if they use an effective insect repellent. Careful mosquito repellent measures are recommended. Hepatitis A is widespread. Hepatitis B is highly endemic. A hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended. In the case of long-term stays or special exposure, vaccination against hepatitis B should also be considered. HIV/AIDS is becoming more prevalent and poses a great threat to those who take the risk of infection: Unprotected sexual contacts, unclean syringes or cannulas and blood transfusions can pose a significant health risk. Epidemic outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis can occur. Every year during the dry season or the “harmattan season”, which lasts from December to May, more meningococcal meningitis diseases are registered. For longer stays, vaccination makes sense, as well as avoiding large crowds. There is a low risk of infection for sleeping sickness. Recommendation: protection against braking; skin-covering, light-colored clothing. Rabies occurs. Carriers include dogs, cats, forest animals and bats. Vaccination is recommended for backpackers, children, occupational risk groups and for longer stays. In the event of a bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Tick ​​bite fever occurs nationwide.

bird flu

Two cases of bird flu were officially announced in Benin on December 16, 2007. According to the authorities, the affected livestock were culled. There were three cases of bird flu in the summer of 2008. Travelers should stay away from poultry and avoid any contact with live or dead animals. The consumption of raw poultry dishes and eggs should be avoided. Well-cooked poultry dishes and eggs can be enjoyed without hesitation. Thorough cleaning of the hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand disinfectant solutions is generally recommended as a precautionary measure.



1 CFA (Communauté Financiaire Africaine) Franc* = 100 centimes. Currency code: CFA Fr, XOF (ISO code). Banknotes are in denominations of 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 CFA Fr. Coins come in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 CFA Fr. Note: [*] The CFA Franc (XOF) is issued by the Banque des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest ( BCEAO, State Bank of West African States) and used by the 8 members of the African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The Banque des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC, CFA Franc (XAF) issued by the State Bank of Central African States is not legal tender in Benin. The CFA Franc is tied to the Euro.

Credit cards

Common credit cards such as Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are accepted to a limited extent. At the BOA (Bank of Africa) and SGBBE in Porto-Novo, Cotonou and Bohicon you can withdraw money with the Visa card, otherwise the use of credit cards is not recommended. Details from the issuer of the relevant credit card.


Bank cards With the credit card and pin number, money can be withdrawn from ATMs in larger cities. The Girocard (formerly ec card) with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol is accepted worldwide. It can be used at ATMs with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol in major cities. To be on the safe side, travelers should always have an alternative source of money such as cash. Further information from banks and credit institutes. Attention: Travelers who want to pay with their bank customer card abroad and withdraw money should find out from their bank about the possibility of using their card before starting their journey.

Travelers cheques

Traveller’s checks are not accepted in Benin.

Bank opening hours

Mon-Fri 08.00-12.00 and 15.00-17.00.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import of the national currency is not subject to any restrictions, its export is permitted up to 500,000 CFA Fr (outside the CFA zone, however, unfavorable exchange rates). The import of foreign currency is unlimited, but must be declared. They can be exported up to the amount declared, minus the exchange amounts (proof may be required).

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices and larger hotels.


Code Symbol Exchange rates (no guarantee)
EUR 1 EUR = 1.00 €
1 CHF = 1.19 €
1 USD = 0.96 €
XOF 1 EUR = 1.00
1 CHF = 1.19
1 USD = 0.96

Benin Money