Medical Kits For Tanzania Safari
While Africa is wild and wonderful, it is, like anywhere, full of potential medical dangers. With some good planning and a few simple preparations, you can ensure a hassle- and sickness-free trip of a lifetime.
Before travelling to Africa, every person should visit their own doctor or local travel clinic, well in advance of their departure, to obtain advice. Each person is different, has different underlying conditions, allergies, etc., so a pre-trip health check and discussion of what vaccines, malaria prophylaxis are necessary, and other health concerns, is imperative.
Before coming on safari, be sure to get good medical insurance, including medical evacuation. Many areas visited are far from medical facilities and difficult to reach. Should there be a medical emergency, you want to feel safe in the knowledge that your insurance will cover any eventuality.
The most important thing about vaccinations is to get them well in advance. Many vaccines take a while to work e.g. yellow fever, which must be given at least 10 days before entering an endemic area. Others require a series of injections e.g. hepatitis A and B.
Primary vaccinations, which in most countries include tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, TB and meningitis, must be up to date. Boosters may be necessary, so be sure to discuss these with your medical practitioner well in advance of travel.
The only vaccine that is officially required in some African countries is the yellow fever vaccine, in endemic areas (or if you’re travelling through an endemic area, even just as a layover). Without your certificate of vaccination, more than 10 days prior, there’s a real possibility that you will not be allowed into the country, or that you will be quarantined and vaccinated.
The question of which other vaccinations to get is a very difficult one to answer and depends on many factors including:
- Your immunization status, i.e. are your ‘normal’ vaccinations up to date
- Current health
- Which countries you’re visiting
- Any current epidemics, e.g. cholera, typhoid, polio or measles, that may require vaccination or booster vaccinations
- Your planned activities, e.g. if you’re going to be in contact with unbottled water/unwashed food in endemic countries, it may be wise to get cholera and typhoid vaccinations etc.
Each preventable disease has different methods of transmission and different risks (again, multi-factorial). Risks differ from country-to-country and moment-to-moment, so check with both the Travel Clinic and Embassy with regard to any disease outbreaks in the countries you’re visiting, well in advance.
So, in conclusion, the vaccinations you choose to get mainly depends on you, in consultation with your medical practitioner, taking into account your medical history and your risk, based on countries visited and current outbreaks. Only yellow fever is required, the rest are just recommended.