Farming in Comoros
Mabel Fatokun

Navigating Healthcare in the Comoros: A Guide for Residents and Travelers


  • 866,960
  • (641 sq mi

The Comoros archipelago, a string of volcanic islands in the Indian Ocean, enchants visitors with its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich biodiversity. However, navigating the healthcare system in the Comoros can be a complex experience. This article provides an updated overview of the healthcare landscape in Comoros, empowering residents and travellers to make informed decisions about their health needs.

Understanding the Comoros System:

The Comorian healthcare system faces challenges, including a lack of resources, infrastructure, and qualified personnel. The public healthcare system serves as most citizens’ primary medical care source. It consists of:

  • Dispensaries: Located in villages, these offer basic medical services and medications.
<primary health centres in comoros>
  • Primary Health Care Centers (PHC): These centers offer a wider range of services, including consultations, vaccinations, and maternal care. Stay more informed- World Bank – Increasing the use of primary healthcare in Comoros:
  • District Hospitals: These are located in major towns and provide more specialized care.
  • The El-Maarouf National Hospital, Located in Moroni, the capital, is the only referral hospital in the country offering advanced medical services.

Financing Healthcare:

The Comoros does not have a national health insurance program. As a result, most Comorians pay for healthcare services out-of-pocket. However, a small percentage of the population benefits from health mutuals, a social financial protection system with limited coverage.

Challenges and Considerations:

  • Limited Resources: The healthcare system faces a shortage of medical equipment, medications, and qualified medical personnel. Specialized care is often unavailable locally, requiring referrals abroad.
  • Infrastructure Issues: Many healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas, lack basic infrastructure and need renovation.
  • Language Barriers: French is the primary language used in the healthcare system. Travelers or residents with limited French may encounter communication challenges.

Recent Developments and Initiatives:

Efforts are underway to improve the healthcare system in the Comoros:

  • The Comprehensive Approach to Health System Strengthening Project (COMPASS): Launched by the World Bank in 2019, this $30 million project aims to improve access to quality primary healthcare, focusing on women, children under five, and non-communicable diseases.
  • Focus on Maternal and Child Health: International organizations and the government are collaborating to improve maternal and child health services, aiming to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates.
<maternal_child health in comoros>

Recommendations for Travelers:

  • Travel Health Insurance: Obtaining comprehensive travel health insurance is crucial before visiting the Comoros. Ensure it covers medical evacuation in case of emergencies requiring specialized care unavailable locally.
  • Vaccinations: Stay up-to-date on recommended vaccinations, including hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, and rabies.
  • Bring Medications: Pack any essential medications you may require, as access to specific medications can be limited in the Comoros.
  • Research Medical Facilities: If you have pre-existing medical conditions, research medical facilities and specialists available in the Comoros before your trip.
  • Basic French Phrases: Learning some basic French phrases can be helpful for communication with healthcare providers.

Recommendations for Residents:

The Comoros healthcare system faces challenges, but ongoing efforts aim to improve access to quality care. Travelers and residents can navigate the system more effectively by implementing the recommendations above and staying informed about developments. With continued investment and international collaboration, the future of healthcare in the Comoros holds promise for improved health outcomes for all citizens.


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