health concerns in Tanzania

Old Mar 12th, 2008, 03:21 AM
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health concerns in Tanzania


am putting together a trip for Summer 2009 - myself, hubby, and our 9 year old daughter. I know we are not to drink the water - are there other health concerns we should be wary of? Any medications we should bring/shots we should get?

nelder is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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Will let others comment on meds. Main point I would leave with you is to wash hands before eating/handling food. Those little "baby wipes" or similar towellettes make for great items to take on game drives, etc when you may not have access to water. Otherwise, use common sense like you would at home.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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Suggest you visit a doc specializing in travel medicine, who will advise you on what's required for that area. The one we saw (Mayo Clinic) advised a series of shots for things like Yellow Fever, hepatitis A and B, polio and something else I've now forgotten about (tetanus booster?), plus a prescription for malaria pills. Also turned me on to Ambien, which allows me to sleep on long flights for a change

While all these potential diseases sounded pretty intimidating the actual safaris have been relatively tame and seemed about as safe as trips to the Everglades or Alaska. I think a lot of these disease warnings are better suited for people who will be working there or staying long periods in non-tourist areas, not for tourists doing the well-trod Northern Circuit and staying at comfortable safari lodges (like us and probably most visitors).

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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 05:31 AM
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thank you both!
nelder is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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A personal physician and/or child's pediatrician who is familiar with travel/tropical diseases medicine. If not, then visit a Travel Clinic, though their prices tend to be high... they want to jab you with everything.

Few here are doctors, so can only comment on our own experiences or from those who have previously posted.

Most inocs are those that would serve you well at home, if you never left home, but as adults we haven't had many since childhood.

- Tetanus - should you fall on some dirty wood - lasts 10/years
- HepA - water borne, even can get at home if restuarant worker doesn't wash hands leaving the loo - also lasts 10/years.
- HepB - bloode borne, not necessary, unless extended stays, working for NGOs, Peace Corp or with locals; though there is a current combo A&B that some docs recommend.
- Polio booster - though disease technically eradicated worldwide, there are occasional outbreaks - should last rest of your life.
- Malaria meds - Many now are using Malarone that has least side-effects. They do have smaller dosage for children, so discuss with doc.
- Yellow Fever - recently reinstituted this requirement; need the yellowbook they provide as verfication of this jab - lasts 10/years.

Discuss all with physician in conjunction with your personal health histories.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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A travel clinic can give you specific up to date advice on the shots and pills you'll need. If it is not offered, request Cipro in case of severe stomach problems. I almost always bring the whole bottle home with me.

The specific suggestions given look good.

Have you checked on any lodge/camp limitations for a 9-year old? If you are not doing a private trip, you may want to do a family group outing.

You may want to use flying doctors or something similar for evacuation if necessary.

Like Bill H says, this sounds ominous, but problems of any kind are very rare. It will be a trip of a lifetime.

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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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If you are going to be travelling to other places where some of these vaccinations are required( and I am sure you will be travelling to other exotic part of the world in the next 10 years)...

then get the common vaccines that you should have now.

1. Hepatitis A vaccine....I do not know what your health care coverage pays for ..but you can take a blood test to see if you already have been exposed to
Hepatitis A.

If you have the antibodies ...your okay

Same for Hepatitis B

You can do a blood test, but your doctor has to order the correct one.

Yellow Fever...hmmm like sandi says it last 10 year.
I got mine last year because I went to the Amazon in Brazil.

So now I am good for 10 years.

Having your tetanus up to date is just a good thing to do even if you are not going anywhere.

Cipro, yes take it with you always, you probably will not use it ..if you do not use it then it is good for 2-3 years...

and therefore good enough for your next trip.

If you get Cipro,then get the 1000 mgm tablet, you only have to take this one once a day...
not like the
500 mgm twice a day or
250 mgm four times a day.

When you have an acute stomach disorder( cramps/diarrhea) you do not want to swallow 4 pills a day or even 2 !!!

I assume you are going to take some Imodium with you(just as a precaution)
if you...
then get the Imodium that says "Quick Dissolve" right on the box.

You place this on your tongue ( no water needed) and in 5-7 seconds it is dissloved and gone.!!( tatses like marshmellow).

Happy Planning


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Old Mar 21st, 2008, 05:28 AM
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Just spent a month in Tanzania - safari, Zanzibar, several small towns & villages. No problems at all. Many travelers with small children.
I liked carrying the Cutter mosquito repellent stick - small and effective.
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Old Mar 21st, 2008, 11:23 PM
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I have one additional comment.Not only should you not drink the water, but none of it should go in your mouth.That means a closed mouth in the shower and no using the water to brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth.Have a wonderful time!
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Old Mar 22nd, 2008, 05:25 PM
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The last poster is so right!

I caught some horrid bug in the bush by not being 100% careful about this. I thought I was dying. But I did think, "Well if I have to die, this is the most beautiful place, in the bush, under the African night sky."
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