To enjoy your trip to Morocco, it is essential that you are in good health every day. There are problems that, unfortunately, cannot be avoided, but many others can be kept at bay if the right information is available. And if you are unlucky enough to suffer an unforeseen health-related event, it will also be useful to know the health situation in the country. We talk about all of this on this page, in the hope that you will not have to resort to it at any time.
Morocco’s healthcare system has improved a great deal in recent years, both in terms of healthcare infrastructure and professionals. But, in general, Moroccan healthcare is below the quality standards of Western countries. Moreover, it can still be said that the country is moving at two speeds: one, at which private healthcare and those in large cities are moving; and another (slower), at which public centers and those in rural areas are moving.
Tourists, for convenience and quality of service, should go to private hospitals, which are those that have agreements with large insurance companies. The best are in the big cities, especially Casablanca (as the most populated city and the financial center of the country) and Rabat (as the capital and administrative center).
Tourist areas also have private clinics that are accustomed to serving foreign clients. In these countries, a common language of communication is French, which, although no longer official in the country, continues to enjoy a high degree of use. English is a language that specialists can speak, although first responders are not always fluent in English.
What private hospitals in Morocco do have in common is their high cost: any treatment, admission or emergency intervention is expensive, and payment is usually requested at the time of treatment (unless otherwise agreed with the insurer).
In rural areas, on the other hand, the variety of options available to tourists is much smaller: sometimes there are only public health centers, with really basic equipment, so if you are traveling to unpopulated areas, for example in the south of the country, you may have to travel tens or hundreds of kilometers to find a hospital or clinic that can offer adequate treatment.
Morocco, in general, is well served by pharmacies, especially in most city centers. And these pharmacies are usually well stocked with medications. However, in rural areas there may be greater shortages, both of pharmacies and of certain drugs.
A fundamental tip is to make sure that the medicine delivered is indeed the one requested, as we explained in the page dedicated to
. The pharmacy professionals will certainly be diligent in helping you, but language can complicate communication on something as important as this.
In general, Morocco is more lax when it comes to the sale of over-the-counter drugs. In any case, if the drug you are going to request is for medical subscription, try to prove it in some way by means of the relevant document.
Due to the high cost of medical services in private centers in Morocco, the shortcomings of public centers and the difficulty of communicating in the local language, travel insurance is the best solution to be well covered during your stay in the country. In fact, persons who, because of their nationality, are required to obtain a tourist visa to enter
a tourist visa to enter Morocco, are obliged to take out insurance to obtain this document.
are obliged to take out insurance in order to obtain such a document.
Numerous insurance companies offer policies that cover a wide range of services and scenarios, including medical expenses (over US$100,000 in some cases), repatriation, extended stay, lost luggage or delayed flights, for varying amounts up to US$2,000 in some cases.
There are no major health hazards in Morocco. And the places where contagious diseases may be present are usually limited to the poorest environments. Therefore, it is better to talk about “precautions” to be taken by the traveler, as this will avoid potentially dangerous situations.
In fact, it should be noted that one of the main causes of injuries of varying degrees among tourists is traffic accidents. For this reason, we recommend that you read
our useful tips on safe driving in Morocco
in Morocco, if you plan to drive your own car or a rental car in the country.
At the time of writing (February 2022), there are no health alerts issued by the U.S. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Therefore, the main health problems that a tourist may face should not be more than minor annoyances or scares that can be treated with medication or other measures. They are listed below, according to their nature.
This is a relatively common problem among people traveling abroad, due to the change in diet. Therefore, you should be especially cautious in Morocco: its cuisine is very spicy, which can have a significant impact on the digestive system.
Added to this is the risk of contracting a stomach virus or becoming contaminated with bacteria if water that has not been properly sterilized is ingested or otherwise comes into contact with it. For example, by eating vegetables that have been washed with this water and have not been cooked afterwards, or if you brush your teeth with contaminated water. The major stomach viruses may cause diarrhea, vomiting or fever.
In large cities, tap water is supplied by piped systems that comply with the required sanitary controls, but in rural areas there is not always a guarantee of this, so it is advisable to be cautious. On the page of
page you will find some recommendations.
High temperatures can cause heat stroke in people who are not used to them, especially in the summer season and in the south of the country. Sweating is a natural reaction to these high temperatures, but if it is excessive and uncontrolled it can be a symptom of incipient heat stroke (as well as the opposite, i.e., no sweating due to a maladjustment in the body temperature regulating system).
On the other hand, this sweating can cause dehydration, so it is recommended to drink water continuously, before you feel thirsty. Cold water will provide a restorative sensation, but the ideal way to combat dehydration is to drink water at room temperature.
Finally, Morocco’s geographical location can also play a trick on tourists, in this case in the form of skin burns: it should be noted that the country’s latitude, especially in the south, causes the sun’s rays to fall very vertically on its territory. Therefore, those who do not cover or do not protect their skin properly may experience burns on arms, neck and face, mainly.
Special attention should be paid to the risk of skin burns in late spring and early summer, when the sun is at its highest in the sky, and also in high altitude areas around the Atlas Mountains.
In the Atlas Mountains, another health risk can also appear: altitude sickness, that is, the disorder that your body can feel when you reach considerable altitudes, especially if you ascend abruptly, without prior acclimatization.
One of the highest and most used mountain passes in the country is that of Tizi n’Tichka, which is located at an altitude of 2,260 meters above sea level. But if you plan to go hiking or mountaineering in the Atlas, you may climb above that elevation, which increases the risk of suffering from this disease.
This altitude sickness can cause headaches, dizziness and other minor disorders, such as sleep disturbances, lethargy, ear obstruction and loss of appetite. In other cases, there may be potentially serious complications, such as breathing difficulties, acute headaches or loss of consciousness.
This is a risk that may be faced by tourists traveling to remote and rural areas and those who go into the wilderness, but in some cases may also arise in urban settings, especially in unsanitary environments.
This is caused by mosquitoes, sand flies (on northern beaches), bees, wasps, scorpions (in the south) and bedbugs (in low-end accommodations).
Insect bites are usually annoying because they cause itching, swelling and irritation, but rarely trigger more serious episodes, unless the sufferer is allergic to them. Only in sporadic cases, the bite of the sand fly can inoculate the leishmaniasis virus.
It is also worth mentioning the bite of a venomous snake, a truly improbable episode but one to which those who travel to the desert should be alert, as they can hide among the rocks. In the event of such an incident, it is recommended to bandage the bite (not a tourniquet) and go to a medical center as soon as possible.
At the time of writing (February 2023), major international health agencies, such as the U.S. CDC, do not consider any vaccination mandatory for travel to the country.
However, there are some recommended vaccinations, especially for those visiting certain regions of Morocco and, in particular, if you engage in sports or adventure activities in wild natural areas of the country, where you may come into contact with certain animal species, carriers of some potentially serious diseases.
This is the list of recommended vaccines:
For more information related to vaccinations and the health situation in Morocco in general, you can consult this CDC page, which is regularly updated with the latest warnings and advice for those traveling to Morocco.