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Swaziland

Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted in 1968. Student and labor unrest during the 1990s pressured King MSWATI III, the world's last absolute monarch, to grudgingly allow political reform and greater democracy, although he has backslid on these promises in recent years. A constitution came into effect in 2006, but the legal status of political parties remains unclear. The African United Democratic Party tried unsuccessfully to register as an official political party in mid 2006. Talks over the constitution broke down between the government and progressive groups in 2007. Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.

Swaziland

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Swaziland
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Mbabane
Boundary Countries:

Mozambique, South Africa

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities:

Lavumisa, Piggs Peak, Big Bend, Manzini, Mhlume

Country Size: 17,364 sq km
Population: 1,370,424, note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

English (official, government business conducted in English), siSwati (official)

Currency: Swaziland Lilangeni (szl)
Predominant Religions:

Zionist (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship), Roman Catholic, Muslim, other (includes Anglican, Bahai, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish)

National Holidays: Independence Day, 6 September (1968) - from UK
Economic Status:

In this small, landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies approximately 70% of the population. The manufacturing sector has diversified since the mid-1980s. Sugar and wood pulp were major foreign exchange earners; however, the wood pulp producer closed in January 2010, and sugar is now the main export earner. In 2007, the sugar industry increased efficiency and diversification efforts, in response to a 17% decline in EU sugar prices. Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives more than nine-tenths of its imports and to which it sends 60% of its exports. Swaziland's currency is pegged to the South African rand, subsuming Swaziland's monetary policy to South Africa.

Security:

Umbutfo Swaziland Defense Force (USDF): Ground Force (includes Air Wing)

US Presence:

U.S. Embassy Mbabane
Central Bank Building
Mahlokohla Street
P.O. Box 199
Phone:  268-404-6441/5
After Hours Emergency Phone: 268-602-8414
Fax:  268-404-5959

Document Requirements:

A passport is required. Visas are not required for tourists and business travelers arriving in Swaziland for short visits (less than 60 days) on standard US passports. Most travelers visiting Swaziland enter through South Africa.

Please note: All travelers traveling to South Africa are strongly encouraged to have several unstamped visa pages left in their passports. South Africa requires two unstamped visa pages, excluding amendment pages, to enter the country. Visitors who do not have enough free visa pages in their passport risk being denied entry and returned to the US at their own expense.

Major Airports:

Airports: 15   Airports with paved runways: 2

Manzini - Matsapha Airport (MTS/FDMS)
PO Box 89, Kwaluseni, Matsapha, Manzini
Tel: +268 84455, +268 84038
Tel: (Civil Aviation) +268 48683, +268 46636
Fax: +268 84084
Fax: (Civil Aviation) +268 46438

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

Public protests, demonstrations, and strikes occur from time to time in Swaziland and are mostly in response to on-going labor relations/difficulties. When a strike is pending, armed soldiers may be called to augment the police force, and they have used force to disrupt such events. During the course of such events, police may not distinguish between “innocent bystanders” and protesters. U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies and street demonstrations.
Violent crime is a concern and is the most significant threat to U.S. citizens visiting or working in Swaziland. Incidents of petty crime and occasionally violent crime are most prevalent in Mbabane, the capital city, and Manzini, Swaziland’s urban industrial center, but also affect most other urban and rural areas. Criminals will resort to force if necessary, including deadly force, in order to accomplish their goal. Gangs are not deterred by confrontations with their intended victims. Carjacking occurs and, as with other crimes, can be potentially violent if victims do not immediately cooperate.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 63.09 deaths/ 1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:  Total: 48.66 (male 48.93/ female 48.39 years)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hepatitis A, B, Typhoid, Rabies
Boosters: MMR, DPT, polio, as needed

Infectious Disease Concerns:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis

Areas of Swaziland with Malaria: Present in the eastern areas bordering Mozambique and South Africa, including all of Lubombo district and the eastern half of Hhohho and Shiselweni districts.
Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities are limited throughout Swaziland and emergency medical response capabilities (including ambulance transport) are almost non-existent. Although the Mbabane Clinic in the capital is small and currently undergoing building renovations, it is well equipped and well staffed for minor procedures. For advanced care, US citizens often choose to go to South Africa where better facilities and specialists exist. Most prescription drugs are available locally or can be imported from South Africa, but travelers are advised to bring sufficient quantities of their own required medication. A doctor’s note describing the medication may be helpful if questioned by authorities.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 5
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), African tick bite fever, a rickettsial infection, and African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness), transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly, are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in Southern African countries, mostly in rural areas. Protecting yourself against insect bites (see below) will help to prevent these diseases.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water in Southern African countries. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in Southern African countries. 

Polio reappeared in 2006 in Namibia. Imported cases in neighboring countries have occasionally occurred.

Many countries in this region have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.

Travelers should be aware of the serious health risks associated with visiting caves in certain areas of Africa. These risks include infectious diseases spread by bats, such as Marburg hemorrhagic fever, rabies, and histoplasmosis. CDC advises people not to enter any caves or mines where bats may live.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  + 268
Internet Country Code:  .sz

 



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