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Overview of the health system in Senegal

The health system in Senegal has improved a lot in recent years. However, there are still disparities, doctors are mainly located in Dakar and there are not enough doctors in the rest of the country. Senegal offers quality care in the capital, but the quality of medical services in the rest of the country is rather poor.

There are two types of hospitals in Senegal: the public and the private sector. Due to the lack of budget to finance public hospitals, the number of private medical practices has increased considerably. In theory, medical assistance in public hospitals is free, but in practice, you will have to pay in cash to get the necessary care.

Senegal has a social security system but this system does not cover health costs. For workers, care is taken care of by the Health Insurance Institute (IPM), managed by one or more companies. Others have to resort to social assistance.

Foreigners are advised to contact embassy medical centers, since the quality is often significantly higher than that of doctors working in public hospitals. In addition, most doctors in embassy medical centers have an international license to treat patients around the world. Many doctors have received their training in France and the quality of care and medical services is very good.

Most doctors speak French. However, you have to go to big cities if you want to see an English speaking doctor. The cost of a consultation with a general practitioner in the private sector costs approximately 10,000 CFA francs (about 15 euros). At the same time, a consultation with a private sector specialist costs on average 20,000 CFA francs (approximately 30 euros).

Should we take health insurance in Senegal?

Whether you are a simple traveler or expatriate in Senegal: we strongly advise you to take out private Senegal insurance. Depending on the regions of the country where you live, not all health facilities are of high quality and are often far removed from European standards as we know them. As a traveler, you have no rights to social protection in the country. It is therefore very important to buy Senegal insurance before your departure so as not to be left without protection. We also advise expatriate residents in Senegal to choose an international health insurance. This will enable them to benefit from repatriation insurance, civil liability and also to be able to seek treatment in institutions other than hospitals and public clinics, which sometimes provide less good quality care.

Security risks in Senegal


Pickpockets and thieves on motorcycles are particularly active in large crowds. Flights are common in Dakar's La Petite Corniche restaurant district, along the Western Corniche, Leopold Senghor International Airport in Dakar and the restaurant district of St Louis. Criminals target foreigners, especially at night. So, avoid walking in isolated places and in dark streets during the night. Follow precautionary measures and especially do not tempt thieves, it is better to avoid displaying jewelry, expensive mobile phones.


Terrorism is a threat all over the world, including in Senegal. A terrorist attack can happen anywhere and anytime, including in places visited by strangers. One must be vigilant during visits to places frequented by tourists because of a credible threat of potential terrorist activity in Dakar. Some enhanced security measures are in place, including security screening levels in Dakar. The areas on the border with Mauritania and Mali are particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks, it is not advisable to make trips to these places. There is the risk of kidnapping in the neighboring countries of Senegal, especially the bordering regions of Mali and Mauritania.

To better protect yourself from possible risks, avoid crowds, places frequented by strangers and other possible targets for terrorist attacks. Then, avoid unnecessary travel to remote parts of Senegal, especially near the borders with Mauritania and Mali.

Civil strife

Demonstrations and demonstrations occur regularly in Senegal. Foreigners in Senegal are advised to avoid political rallies, demonstrations and demonstrations, as even those who are supposed to be peaceful have the potential to become violent.

Possible scams

Many forms of commercial and internet fraud are common in West Africa. Be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true because they can be a scam. Be careful when doing online transactions.

Health risks in Senegal

Vaccinations in Senegal

In addition to mandatory vaccinations in France, only a yellow fever vaccination is required. These vaccinations are recommended but optional: typhoid, malaria, rabies (only for prolonged stays in remote areas), chemo prophylaxis, meningitis.


Malaria, one of the most common diseases in Senegal, is prevalent in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This disease has a global mortality rate of 9 percent among adults. Female Anopheles mosquitoes cause malaria, especially after heavy rains. Symptoms include fever, pain, chills and sweats. It is advisable to use mosquito nets. The malaria rate has fallen in recent years, especially in 2013, the malaria prevalence rate in Senegal was 2.8% and it reached the level of 1.2% in 2015. The mortality rate caused by malaria is Quite low. It is about 3% of the total number of deaths recorded in Senegal. The situation is not stable throughout Africa. According to WHO figures, in 2015, out of 429,000 people killed as a result of this serious illness, 92% of victims were on the African continent.

The dengue

Disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, dengue is like a big flu. No preventive medicine exists at the moment, so it is recommended to avoid mosquitoes and to take care of paracetamol as a first necessity. Aspirin is to be banned totally so as not to aggravate the situation.

The Senegalese authorities announced in 2017 several dengue cases in the city of Louga, in the north-west of the country. Eleven transmissions have been identified for the moment. The Pasteur Institute of Dakar has made a first diagnosis of 9 dengue cases from samples taken in mid-October 2017 in the commune of Louga. According to Institut Pasteur data, out of 61 samples, 11 were positive.


According to the 2014 UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic, about 44,000 adults aged 15 and over in Senegal were living with HIV; the prevalence rate is estimated at 0.5% of the adult population compared to the prevalence rate among adults in France of about 0.25%. It is essential to take normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV / AIDS.

Expats in Senegal

Expatriation seduces more and more the French. The quantity of French wishing to go elsewhere is constantly increasing. About 5% more each year. More than three million French people live outside the borders. In the international labor market, French employees are popular. In recent years, young graduates are more and more numerous to try their fortune elsewhere.

Subscribe GoldExpat insurance for your expatriation in Senegal

To accompany you in your expatriation in Senegal, Mondassur offers Senegal ideal insurance and suitable for expatriates in Senegal. GoldExpat is:

Hospitalization at 100% of actual costs

Hospitalization must be reimbursed at 100% of the actual costs incurred, it is a real necessity for insurance in Vietnam. The costs of hospitalization in Vietnam are very expensive, it is essential that you are 100% covered in case of accident.

Taking charge of civil liability

Being covered is one thing, but being covered for the damage you could do to others is another! Imagine that you break the window of a shop in Dakar by being wrong. Your care will obviously be taken care of. But if you do not have in your insurance a civil responsibility, then the expenses to be paid to this third person will not be supported by your insurance and you risk to get into debt heavily!


In all these situations and so many others, the Mondassur insurance covers you and guarantees immediate care for a very reasonable price.

Do you plan to go to another country? Mondassur helps you find the health insurance that's right for you!

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