August travel- Malaria

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Aug 1st, 2004, 01:29 PM
  #1
s_j
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August travel- Malaria

Thanks to the forums and Southern Africa guide, my (big)birthday trip is sorted and we leave very soon.

Sorry if I've missed threads discussing August travel in Southern Africa in the big trawl through the fantastic info.

I have followed the Malarone etc. debate and looked at the recommended sites including http://www.malaria.org.za/Malaria_Ri.../risk_maps.htm.
This site appears to suggest it's fine to take the usual coverup/spray precautions but no medication in August. WHO and other sites seem far less seasonally orientated and I've also seen references in the threads to water levels this year. Given that the family (kids aged 9,11,13) visit Itala and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi reserves and drive through Swaziland to the Kruger 17th to 23rd August, anyone know if it's wintery enough to prevent mossie bites? One of us felt quite uncomfortable on Malarone at Easter and we won't take it if we can comfortably rely on the malaria.org.za site map. Local knowledge appreciated for us Brits.

Can we easily obtain Malorone if it is needed in Jo'burg pharmacies? I need to act v. quickly to get a private prescription before leaving UK if I'm advised Malarone is recommended.
Thanks for all the great help so far!
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Aug 1st, 2004, 01:50 PM
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sandi
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All I know is that as of this writing Malarone is not available in South Africa.
 
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 01:34 AM
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Malarone has been available in S.A. for a while now. But expensive compared with Mefliam (the local brand of Mefloquine, elsewhere branded as Larium).

It is a prescription drug so by law shouldn't be supplied by a pharmacy without a (local) doctor's prescription, although some travellers have reported being able to do this.

You can either consult a doctor then got to a pharmacy, or go to one of the Netcare Travel Clinics (see www.travelclinic.co.za/html/where_to_2k.asp) where they will both prescribe and dispense. The prescription cost is built into the cost of the tablets. (A doctor's visit for a prescription would cost at least R100.)

The cost of Malarone at one of those clinics is currently R50 a tablet, I've just checked. When I least asked (very recently), Meliam was R14.50 a tablet and that is a weekly dose.

I think whether to use prophylaxis is partly a "risk call" that depends on the individual. From what I have heard, the vast majority of South Africans wouldn't use them in August, as per those local (Medical Research Council) recommendations. Personally, I'd use some DEET spray and that's all. But I have no medical knowledge whatsoever.
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 03:32 AM
  #4
sandi
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ArthurSA - Thanks for the "heads=up" that Malarone is now available in SA. And yes that price of R50 is high; though a full prescription of approx. 21-tabs here in t he States costs between $90-$120 out of pockets if the individual patient isn't covered by some sort of drug plan that reduces the prices by at least half or more.
Thanks for the information.
 
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 04:36 AM
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I have presumed that Malarone is imported. But if that's so, then what I can't understand is that while the Rand has been strengthening, the price has been increasing.

I thought that when I first asked the price (and I think that was some months ago), it was R40 a tablet. It MAY have been R45, that was certainly the price once. And now R50?!
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 04:44 AM
  #6
sandi
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Malarone became available in Europe first (the UK, I believe) - then made its way to the States about 2 or 3 years ago.

As to the price, beats me! In the States the government doesn't negotiate drug prices as do governments in other courtries, i.e, Canada (where American's these days are running to obtain their prescription drugs; and some go to Mexico).

The pharmaceutal companies are basically thieves and for those in the States that don't have the luxury of a drug plan, pay the highest prices.

So your guess is as good as mine as to why the prices continue to change down your way.
 
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Aug 2nd, 2004, 10:59 PM
  #7
s_j
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Thanks Sandi and Arthur

Unless someone responds immediately that they've seen mosquitoes in August in Itala, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, Swaziland or Kruger, we'll avoid the meds but adopt all other precautions.
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