Zambia Healthcare and Money

By | May 9, 2022

Health care


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


Medical care cannot be compared to Europe and is highly problematic in terms of technology, equipment and/or hygiene. In many cases there is also a lack of European-trained doctors. A first-aid kit should be carried. For these, a certificate authorizing possession of the medication – everything also in a certified translation – should be able to be presented, because otherwise criminal prosecution for drug possession or even drug trafficking must be expected. Such a certificate, to be prepared by the prescribing doctor, can be downloaded from the website of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (Internet: under the following link. Check findjobdescriptions for more information.

Notes vaccinations

[1] A vaccination certificate against yellow fever is no longer an entry requirement. Deviating from the official regulations, proof of vaccination against yellow fever may also be required upon entry from a non-yellow fever infected area. [2] There is a national risk of cholera disease, particularly in the provinces of Central (Lusaka), Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Northern and Southern, which primarily affects the local population. The risk of illness among travelers is very low. Since the effectiveness of the vaccination is disputed, it is advisable to seek medical advice in good time before you travel. In individual cases, non-prescribed vaccinations can still be required, e.g a cholera vaccination when entering the country from an infected area. [3] Malaria protection is required year-round across the country. The predominant more dangerous form Plasmodium falciparum is said to be highly resistant to chloroquine.

Food and drink

Due to the risk of possible infections, careful drinking water and food hygiene must be ensured. Water should generally either be boiled or otherwise sterilized before it is used for drinking, brushing teeth and making ice cubes, or it should be bought packaged. When buying packaged water, you should make sure that the original packaging has not been opened. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe. Meat and fish dishes should only be well cooked and served hot. Pork, raw salads and mayonnaise should be avoided. Vegetables should be boiled and fruits should be peeled.

Other risks

Schistosomiasis pathogens are found in some ponds and rivers nationwide, so swimming and wading in inland waterways should be avoided. Well maintained swimming pools with chlorinated water are safe. Across the country, there is a risk of transmission of Lyme disease from ticks, especially in grass, shrubs and undergrowth. Protection is offered by skin-covering clothes and insect repellents. Zambia is one of the countries with the highest incidence of anthrax, a serious bacterial disease of animals and humans that can lead to malignant ulcers on the skin or intestines with serious general symptoms. Be careful when handling sick animals, eat meat only if it is sufficiently cooked. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B occur nationwide. A hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended. Vaccination against hepatitis B should be given during longer stays and close contact with the local population, as well as for children and young people in general. Zambia is one of the countries with the highest HIV prevalence: in cities, up to 25% of the adult population is HIV-positive. Sexual contacts are highly risky. Epidemic outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis occur primarily in the dry months. In order to protect themselves, young adults in particular who are planning a long-term stay should be vaccinated. The plague occurs mainly in the southern province (Namwala district). Protection against rats and fleas through safe sleeping places and more frequent linen changes as well as keeping away those who are already sick reduce the risk of infection. If you work in areas affected by the plague, it is advisable to take antibiotics prophylactically. Sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) occurs particularly in the northern parts of the country. Careful mosquito protection measures are recommended. In case of complaints after staying in endangered areas, consult a doctor in case of doubt. Rabies occurs nationwide. 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.

Health certificate

A health certificate, including a chest x-ray, in English is required for work stays.



1 Kwacha = 100 Ngwee. Currency abbreviation: K, ZMW (ISO code). Banknotes come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2K; 1K, 50, 10 and 5 Ngwee coins. Attention: Payments of any kind (in cash, bank transfer etc.) may only be made in the local currency. Violators face long prison sentences.

Credit cards

Common credit cards such as American Express and in some cases Diners Club, Mastercard and Visa are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and in larger shops. Details from the issuer of the relevant credit card.


Bank cards With the credit card and pin number, money can be withdrawn from ATMs. The Girocard (formerly ec card) with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol is accepted worldwide. It can be used at some ATMs with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol. 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 generally no longer accepted in Zambia.

Bank opening hours

Mon-Fri 08.30-14.30-16.00, on the first and last Saturday of the month 08.15-10.30/12.00.

Foreign exchange regulations

Import of local currency prohibited, export of which limited to 1,000K. Unlimited import of foreign currencies, obligation to declare. Export of foreign currencies up to the amount declared, minus exchange amounts.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies are exchanged in official banks and bureaux de change (newer US$ bills are strongly recommended, since sometimes only dollars are exchanged). Exchange receipts should be kept until you leave the country. Check banknotes when changing money, old banknotes are not accepted in shops.


Code Symbol Exchange rates (no guarantee)
ZMW CC 1 EUR = 10.29 ZK
1 CHF = 12.28 ZK
1 USD = 9.90 ZK

Zambia Money