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yellowcard   Someone very close to me had a harrowing experience whilst travelling to South Africa for the first time. One of the entry requirements is a valid yellow fever card. What he didn’t know however, was the fact that the card in his possession was a fake which he obtained at a ridiculous amount from an illegitimate seller at the international airport. Because he was travelling on a student visa, he was given two options; argue with immigration officers and be deported or be quarantined and given the vaccine. He automatically chose the latter. Many Nigerians have suffered a worse fate of detention and subsequent deportation all because of fake, invalid yellow cards. Countries that insist on Nigerian travellers having valid yellow cards at the point of entry include Ghana, Benin Republic, Egypt and South Africa.   What exactly is a yellow card? It is an international certificate indicating dates and history of vaccination for yellow fever, cholera and smallpox. Though the last confirmed case of yellow fever in Nigeria was in 1995 with twenty five reported cases and one death, cholera is still very prevalent in our society with a fairly recent outbreak a couple of months ago. Countries at risk of yellow fever (WHO has listed Nigeria) are required to have their citizens travelling out of the country take the yellow fever vaccination and have a yellow card in accordance with the international health regulation.   In September 2013, after a diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa, the Nigerian government changed the yellow card with added security features. A yellow card is valid for ten years beginning from 10 days after first vaccination. With a process duration of under one hour, yellow cards can be obtained from the following places for a fee of one thousand naira;   Airports
  • Muritala Mohammed airport, Lagos
  • Nnamdi Azikwe International airport, Abuja
  • Margaret Ekpo International airport, Calabar
  • Port Harcourt International airport, Port Harcourt
  • TinCan
  • Ibaka Seaport
  • Akwa Ibom
  • Brass in Rivers
  • Warri
  •  Sapele
  Land borders
  • Seme
  • Idiroko
  • Shaki
  • Chikada
  • Babana
  • Mubi as well as others.
It must be reiterated that the cards be obtained only from authorized government port health services who receive the vaccines from the primary healthcare development agencies; private hospitals are not permitted to issue yellow cards. It is advised not to patronize illegitimate sellers who hang around the respective public health facilities trying to lure their prey. Do have a safe trip.  

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This article was first published on 2nd June 2014

Comments (4)

4 thoughts on “Yellow Cards: A Mere Travelling Document or a Necessity?”

  • How much is the yellow card at the Nnamdi azikiwe international airport

  • Please tell me this:
    Friend went to government hospital and received Yellow Fever Injection today in Osogbo and was told to get yellow card at Airport. But before can get yellow card will have get blood work, to prove had vaccine, at airport. And then will receive yellow card.

    Is this correct?

    Rick McIntosh

  • Dear Sir/ Ma,
    This is interesting! I which we in Ekiti can have a place close to us; where we could access such vaccine and collect our Yellow Card.
    Thank you.

  • Hi,i have a friend in benin ,and he want to travel to australian, but he said he need to get a yellow card and a stamp for the pasport before he can leave the contry,but it cost about $2000 usd. This is correct or not.please let me know.

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