Cameroon is a country full of natural beauty and wildlife, with National Parks such as Bouba Ndjidah and Korup offering tourists an unmatched view of some of the most fascinating species in the world, including the black rhinoceros.
Travelling to Cameroon
For safety reasons, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to certain sections of Cameroon.
This extends to within 40km of the Cameroon border with Nigeria’s Adamawa state, located within Cameroon’s North and Adamaoua provinces, and to within 40km of the border with Chad.
The rest of the North and Adamaoua provinces should only be travelled to in essential situations. You should research the safety warnings of your destination as a matter of urgency prior to arriving in Cameroon.
Airplane is the only means of transportation for reaching Cameroon, with Yaoundé and Douala the country’s two airports that connect to major European cities.
Flight times can differ greatly from the United Kingdom, with a minimum length trip from London to Douala lasting around nine hours.
However, should your airline make more than one stop, this can extend your flight in some cases to roughly 20 hours.
The time difference in Cameroon is the same as British Summer Time and one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
However, if you are unsure as to how to manage your medication while in the air then you should discuss a plan with your diabetic specialist.
The average climate in Cameroon is considerably hotter than that of the UK, with the UK’s summer period of May-September actually Cameroon’s coolest time of the year.
Travellers entering Cameroon outside of this period can expect blistering heat, with the average temperature often just under 30°C.
This extreme heat can lead to enhanced insulin absorption. If you take insulin, it is advised to check your blood sugar levels more often.
Before any periods of physical activity, you could consider reducing your dosages.
If you are otherwise susceptible to hypoglycemia, you should carry sugar on you at all times of the day.
The currency used in Cameroon is the Central African CFA franc. Payment by credit or debit card in scantly available, so it is worth confirming with your accommodation whether you plan to pay your bill this way and where else in the area you can use your choice of card.
Otherwise, it is best to obtain currency before entering Cameroon, with ATMs infrequently placed and mainly in the major towns of Yaoundé and Douala.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required on arrival from all travellers over one year of age. It is necessary to consult your doctor eight weeks in order to receive the vaccination in time before you leave.
There is no evidence to suggest the yellow fever vaccine would affect other medicines such as insulin. However, if your medical practitioner has advised you against the Yellow Fever vaccine for medical reasons, a vaccination waiver should be issued.
It is also worth noting that problems with vaccination waivers can arise when crossing borders and subsequently may not be honoured.
Courses or other boosters are also heavily recommended for diphtheria, hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and against tetanus are also up to date.
Ensuring access to medication
UK citizens with diabetes will not be entitled to any free medication services while in Cameroon. Securing comprehensive medical insurance will be essential in order to obtain even basic treatment.
Diabetic medication is available in Cameroon, but payment will be required from all pharmacies. Urine testing kits are available but blood-testing equipment is not.
To contact the emergency services in Cameroon, you should dial 112.
You should note which syringes are available in Cameroon, with U-40 and U-100 syringes the most commonly used.
The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.
For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.
It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency
The diabetic association of Cameroon is the Cameroon Diabetes Association, which has been a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) since 1991. The address is:
Cameroon Diabetes Association,
c/o Plaza Pharmacy Building,
Commercial Avenue POB 583,
Bamenda, North West Province,
Tel: +237-777 55573
- How is blood glucose measured in Cameroon? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in Cameroon.
- What language is spoken in Cameroon? English and French
- Will I need an international driving license when driving in Cameroon? Yes
- If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No