With plenty of tropical insects and exotic wildlife in Tanzania it is important you take necessary precautions to keep yourself safe, healthy and happy whilst travelling through Tanzania. Medical care in Tanzania is basic and can be limited unless you are staying in a major city. If you require any personal medication then be sure to bring enough with you to last the duration of your trip as you may have problems acquiring it once you touch down.
BEFORE YOU GO
Before you go be sure to book an appointment with your doctor and get a checkup. It is advised to top up on your routine vaccinations such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Typhoid before traveling. It may also be beneficial to get your booster shots such as tetanus, diphtheria and measles. You should aim to have your injections at least 4-6 weeks before you travel so the immunizations have plenty of time to take effect.
PERSONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
You should obtain personal health insurance before embarking on your great adventure to ensure you are covered for any accidents, ill health or emergency treatment you may need. Make sure to double check with your insurance company that you are covered for emergency evacuation in case you need to be moved out of the country or fly back home to be treated.
FIRST AID KIT
It is advised to carry a few basic first aid necessities in case you need medicine or treatment and are unable to get to a doctor. The following should be included in your first aid bag;
Anti- Inflammatory Tablets
Bandages, Gauze and Sticky Tape
Mosquito and Insect Repellent
To avoid contracting a disease or illness general precautions should be taken. Stick to bottled water and plenty of it to avoid dehydration and the chance of an upset stomach. Keep bare skin covered up in the swelling heat and use a high factor sun cream to avoid sunburn or sunstroke. Also avoid swimming in fresh water. If you are planning on eating out be sure to apply the basic rules of health and safety such as not eating meat that has been reheated or isn’t cooked all the way through and avoiding dishes that have been left standing dishes and have attracted flies.
It is vital to remember that there is still a severe HIV/Aids epidemic in Africa so practicing safe sex is a must to avoid contracting the life threatening disease.
Mosquito bites can be painful but in parts of Tanzania they can be more than a pest as they can carry malaria. If concerned you should start a course of anti-malaria drugs before flying out to Tanzania and be sure to bring extra tablets with you. Be sure to wear long pants and sleeves, especially during the evening or when beside water to keep your skin safe from mosquitos. Don’t forget to douse yourself and your sleeping area in a healthy dose of insect repellent.
Signs of malaria are
Nausea / vomiting
Symptoms will occur at least 7-9 days after an infected bite and can develop up to a year after travel. If you are suffering from the above signs even after returning home you should seek medical Tip immediately.
Untreated Malaria can lead to jaundice, anemia, kidney failure, coma and even death in severe cases. Don’t take the risk and be sure to get that fever checked out.