Country: Ethiopia is one of the oldest locations of human life known to scientists. It is located in the Horn of Africa. To the north and northeast is Eritrea, to the east is Djibouti and Somalia, to the west is Sudan and South Sudan, and Kenya is to the south. It has more than 93 million people, making it the most populated landlocked country in the world. Addis Ababa is the capital and Amharic is the main language.
To access emergency services: Dial 907
Currency: Ethiopian birr (ETB)
Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Ethiopia, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.
Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
It is also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.
Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
What to expect in an Ethiopian hospital: Currently, Addis Ababa has 12 state-run hospitals and more than 40 private hospitals. Many of the private ones were built in the past 20 years. However, all of the state-run hospitals were built more than 30 years ago. State-run hospitals are used mostly by the middle- to-low income city inhabitants. Black Lion Hospital is the largest referral hospital in the country where even the wealthiest patients are referred before flying out of the country.
A poor doctor-to-population ratio, a lack of medical assistants (such as anesthetists and midwives), and a lack of medical equipment (including essential pharmaceuticals), are common not just in Addis Ababa, but throughout the country.
Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.
JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in Ethiopia: To read about specific facilities that are JCI-accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.
Ethiopia-specific helpful health resources:
Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or the WHO for up-to-date travel notices.