Dealing with emergency situations in Madagascar

Hello everybody,

Dealing with unexpected situations abroad can be a very difficult matter. In order to better help expats and soon-to-be expats in Madagascar face such tricky situations, we invite you to share your advice and experience.

What are the key emergency numbers you should know by heart?

In the event of a legal problem, an accident, a natural disaster, an injury or the death of a close family member, what are the first things to do in Madagascar?

What are the things to plan ahead in order to better cope with such unexpected situations (registration at the Embassy, transport, medical, comprehensive insurance for instance)?

If you have gone through such experiences in Madagascar, do not hesitate to share your story.

Thank you in advance!


There are expats and then there are expats. By this I mean there is a expat community that live among themselves in a separated society like the Indians and the Chinese who form their own social network. I am an expat that lives among the Malagasy community.
The only dire problem I can think of is medical which I would fly off to Singapore or Thailand or India if I had a problem.  In serious cases it would take a couple of weeks to die so I would have time to go to those countries.
In my 14 years here I have never had a serious problem. It is important to communicate with the locals to have the best support in case of problems.  A theft at night usually begins with yelling out crook in the neighborhood and the locals will turn out to help and fight, unless they hear gunfire..
You are on your own in this country and on an independent journey in life. If you expect the world to take care of you then do not live in Madagascar.
If my Malagasy wife were to die then the family would take care of the the rituals and bring her back to the family burial grounds made centuries ago.   If I were to die then I could care less with what they do with my rotting piece of flesh. Just get rid of my lifeless body in the simple easiest cheapest way as possible- Dig a hole and put me inside and a tree on top to grow and thrive.   
As for key numbers to remember- well they change from time to time and the police will not come out in the middle of a crime unless you pay them.  Their excuse is no gas for their car.   
You are on your own in Madagascar and the best support comes from the Malagasy community around you.

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