Medical Information – Southern Africa
Be sure to discuss your upcoming travels with your physician to make sure you are physically fit and to receive medical advice specific to your health concerns. Below is some information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding vaccinations and malaria prevention.
For more information and to find a travel clinic for inoculations go to: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentTravelClinics.aspx. See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
Besides getting a vaccine for Yellow Fever (depending on the country you are visiting), your physician / travel clinic may recommend the following vaccines for your travel to Africa:
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal (meningitis) if you plan to visit countries in this region that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals or if you might have extensive outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling.
- Typhoid vaccine
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.
Clients arriving in South Africa FROM East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), Central or West Africa and South America or having transited through a yellow fever risk country, will need Yellow Fever certificates to enter South Africa.* Please contact your travel clinic or CDC for the latest updates.
For a list of endemic countries, go to: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/yellowBookCh4-YellowFever.aspx
If you are getting a Yellow Fever inoculation, you will receive an Inoculation Certificate from the physician or travel clinic performing the inoculations. You must carry your Inoculation Certificate with you when entering the country(ies) requiring proof of inoculation.
If you are traveling to Southern Africa, the risk of contracting malaria exists, particularly during the rainy season. To better understand the risks of malaria, please review the CDC’s information at http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/.
We strongly recommend medications be taken before arrival in Africa and be continued for the stated period of time upon return. Please note it is possible to contract malaria despite taking malaria prophylaxis, so to further reduce your chances of exposure, we highly recommend you travel with insecticides and other mosquito repellent and apply liberally.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents and reapply often.
Please review the CDC’s information about health related issues for traveling to this region at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm.
Information obtained from www.cdc.gov. See website for more details.