Eritrea Healthcare and Money

By | May 9, 2022

Health care


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


Medical care in Eritrea is inadequate. Only simple diseases can be treated. The existing hospitals are not recommendable either in terms of the qualifications of the staff or in terms of equipment and hygienic conditions. Almost no medical treatment is available outside of Asmara. An individual first-aid kit should be taken with you and protected according to the temperatures on the way. There are pharmacies in the larger cities. Taking out travel health insurance and travel repatriation insurance is strongly recommended. Check directoryaah for more information.

Notes vaccinations

[1] A vaccination certificate against yellow fever is required for all travelers who want to enter within 6 days of staying in an infected area designated by the WHO. Excluded are travelers who have not left the transit area in the infected areas and transit travelers who do not leave the airport in Eritrea. [2] A certificate of vaccination against cholera is not an entry requirement, but there is a risk of infection. To protect oneself, one 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. [3] Year-round malaria protection required for all regions below 2200 m, but no risk in Asmara. The more dangerous form Plasmodium falciparum (85%) predominates. Recommendation: Mosquito repellent and prevention through medication.

Food and drink

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. Tap water is not suitable for drinking (biological and chemical contamination). Water should generally either be boiled or otherwise sterilized or bought packaged before it is used for drinking, brushing teeth and making ice cubes. When buying packaged water, you should make sure that the original packaging has not been opened. Careful hand hygiene is important. Milk is not pasteurized outside of urban areas and should also be boiled. It is best to avoid dairy products made from unboiled milk. Meat and fish dishes should only be well cooked and served hot. Avoid pork, raw salads and mayonnaise. Vegetables should be boiled and fruits should be peeled. Eating and buying food from cheap street restaurants and markets is discouraged.

Other risks

The standard vaccinations for children and adults recommended by the Robert Koch Institute (including against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), mumps, measles, rubella, pneumococci and influenza) should be refreshed before the trip if necessary. Schistosomiasis pathogens occur in ponds and rivers, especially in the area from Tekeze to Asmara, so swimming and wading in inland waters should be avoided at all costs. Well maintained swimming pools with chlorinated water are safe. Filariasis caused by insects also occurs nationwide. Protection is offered by skin-covering clothes and insect repellents. In coastal regions in particular, dengue is transmitted through the bite of diurnal mosquitoes. Pay attention to protection against carrier mosquitoes that are active during the day and at night. Hepatitis A and E are common, hepatitis B is highly endemic. Vaccination against hepatitis A, against hepatitis B for long-term stays and for children and adolescents is recommended. Due to the altitude and the thin air in the highlands, an acclimatization period should be planned. Those suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure should seek medical advice prior to departure. Leishmaniasis, transmitted by whiteflies, occurs nationwide. Protection is offered by skin-covering clothes and insect repellents. Epidemic outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis can occur particularly during the dry season (December-May). To protect yourself, you should get vaccinated and avoid large crowds. 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.



Nakfa = 100 cents. Currency code: Nfa, ERN (ISO code). Banknotes come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 nakfa; Coins in denominations of 100 (=1 nakfa), 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 (only a few in circulation) cents. The Nakfa was introduced in 1997, replacing the Ethiopian Birr. Eritrea’s first own currency, circulating in both banknotes and coins, has been recognized by the IMF and the World Bank and is pegged to the US$.

Credit cards

Credit cards are not accepted. Details from the issuer of the relevant credit card. Hotel bills, airline tickets and passenger taxes are mostly paid in US dollars and in cash by foreign travelers.


Cash withdrawals from ATMs with a credit and debit card are not possible. Cash is only available at bureaux de change and banks by exchanging foreign currency or by making money transfers through Western Union. 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 Eritrea.

Bank opening hours

  1. General Mon-Fri 08.00-11.00 and 14.00-16.00, Sat 08.00-12.00.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of convertible foreign currencies is unlimited and must be declared if the amount exceeds the equivalent of US$ 10,000. Local currency may not be exported.

Currency Exchange

It is advisable to take US dollars with you in cash, which should only be exchanged in banks, authorized exchange offices and hotels. A return exchange of the national currency is only possible up to an amount of 3000 nakfa.


Code Symbol Exchange rates (no guarantee)
ERN 1 EUR = 15.00
1 CHF = 15.00
1 USD = 15.00
USD U.S$ 1 EUR = US$15.00
1 CHF = US$15.00
1 USD = US$15.00

Eritrea Money