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Living in Guinea
A practical guide to the way of life in Guinea
Expats living in Guinea may face difficulties in a lot of aspects of their life due to the poor standards of the healthcare, security and education system. Read how you can be prepared for all of this in our guide!
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Life in Guinea
Healthcare in Guinea
Guinea struggles with a number of significant health issues across the country, but their government has been working to significantly improve the infrastructure of their healthcare system over the past 20 years. By attempting to use more community based healthcare centers and increasing accessibility to drugs and services the system has been improved, but there is still a long way to go. The largest hospital in Guinea is the Donka Hospital in Conakry; this is a publicly owned hospital, but the facilities are too expensive for a lot of Guinean people. It is a good idea to ensure that you have enough of any medication that you take regularly with you for your entire trip to Guinea, and also to take any pain killers that you take regularly. Travel insurance with good health insurance is absolutely essential for your trip to Guinea, as if you have any serious problems, it will be best to leave the country for treatment.
Education in Guinea
In Guinea, education is compulsory for all children for eight years, but despite this the enrolment into these primary schools is only around half of children, and the attendance is often poor. Many more boys are enrolled in school than girls, though the government is working to increase the levels of all children getting enrolled in the primary schools. Middle school runs up to the age of 17, and then there is the option to attend secondary school up to age 20. There are currently not many opportunities for vocational education as the infrastructure of industry in the country is still in the developing stages, but local trades are passed down, often in families, in a more informal setting. There are only two universities in Guinea, the Université Kofi Annan de Guinee and the Université Utad-Guinée.
Safety and Security
Crime is a significant issue still in Guinea, particularly late at night. The capital city of Conakry particularly has had to cope with significant population growth without the infrastructure to support it, so violent crimes are not a rare occurrence in this country. Muggings are not uncommon, and gunpoint robberies are also increasing. It is advisable to never walk alone late at night, particularly as the expatriate community in Guinea is not very large and foreigners still stand out, which can make them a target. Punishments for violent crimes are harsh, particularly because of the conditions of prisons, but often culprits will not be caught. Do not take any valuables out with you, and particularly do not flaunt anything you have, as this will make you a clear target. Consider this even during the day as muggings do still occur in broad daylight. When you arrive in Guinea, arrange your airport transfer in advance, particularly if you are arriving at night. There is also a risk of political unrest in the country, and it is best to avoid these occurrences completely.
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