Water-borne diseases, malaria and other tropical diseases are prevalent. You should consider taking medication to protect against malaria and using insect repellent. Vaccination against yellow fever is now required and against rabies might be recommended. HIV/AIDS is prevalent. Lassa fever can be contracted in Kenema and the east. In 2010, it has also spread to the North, resulting in 48 deaths between the start of the year and November. If you have travelled in these regions you should seek urgent medical advice for any fever not positively identified as malaria.
Medical facilities are very poor. You should carry basic medical supplies. You should take medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. Drink only bottled water and be aware of what you eat and how well cooked it is.
Contact information for government offices, consulates and embassies, and local businesses nationwide can be found in the Sierra Leone Business Directory (http://www.leonedirect.com)
The country code is 232. Sierra Leone has fixed line phone service in Freetown, Bo and Kenema. The mobile phone network uses the GSM technology as in Europe and use is widespread. The format for dialling is: +232-##-######, where the first "##" designates the area code. Key area codes include Freetown 22 and Bo 32. Calls to mobile phones use the operator's area codes: 77/88/30 for Africell, 76/78 for Airtel Celtel/Zain and 33 for Comium. Tigo was bought by Africell in late 2009, and their 30 prefix was incorporated into the Africell network. Like other countries, when dialling locally, "00" is used to access an international number and followed by the country code and "0" is used to access a national number followed by the area code. The major cities and industrial areas enjoy good coverage as well as some major national roads. Airtel is the oldest and has the best nationwide coverage. International roaming is available. International calling is relatively cheap. Some of the mobile networks charge as little as $0.35/minute to all countries with some countries costing just $0.15 per minute.
Airtel Sierra Leone is part of the One Network Service. This allows an Airtel SIM card from another country to be used in Sierra Leone. Incoming calls are free to receive and local calls are charged at local rates. Remember that calls to the SIM cards home country will be charged at international rates.
Sierra Leone now uses 112 for emergency calls from any phone network. Calls are free and will be directed to the relevant emergency service.