Africa is a beautiful, glorious place. There is no reason why it should not be on your bucket list; it has 54 countries, diverse cultures, languages, and rich history. You might be thrilled about hitting the white sandy beaches and enjoying an African Safari, but do you have your travel vaccine checklist?
As with any other place, there are several things you need to do as you prepare for African travel. One of them is to get vaccinations against certain diseases. It’s imperative to do this because your body will be exposed to different elements in a new environment and may have trouble fighting off infections.
Read more on travel destinations in Africa.
Below is a travel vaccine checklist for African travel:
This is a viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is quite common in many African countries. It is preventable by getting a vaccine which can only be administered by a registered medical practitioner in your country. You will require an International Certificate of Vaccination as proof of vaccination before entering many countries.
Transmitted through contaminated food and water, Hepatitis A is easy to get when traveling. However, it is preventable by getting a vaccine, which includes a series of 2 shots, six months apart.
Hepatitis B is an acute viral illness that is transferable either through unprotected sex with an individual with the infection, or through medical instruments with the virus. Therefore, exercise extreme caution, especially during an emergency.
The vaccine is generally administered over six months, but there is also an option of an accelerated schedule over 21 days.
Meningococcal meningitis is a severe bacterial infection of the brain. Meningitis is highly contagious since it is transferable between humans through saliva or respiratory secretions of people with the infection.
If you are planning to travel to any of the countries in the African Meningitis Belt of sub-Saharan Africa, it is important for you to get the meningitis vaccine.
Animals with rabies transmit the disease either through biting or scratching humans. The vaccine is administered in three doses over a month and greatly reduces the chances of infection.
However, you will also receive a post-exposure vaccine should you get rabies. Make sure that you get the vaccine if you’re planning a lot of outdoor activities or going to remote rural areas in Africa.
In addition to these, other routine vaccines you need to get and make sure that they are up to date, especially if you are traveling with children, are:
Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
This vaccine protects you against all three diseases. It is important to get the vaccine at least two weeks before your trip.
You should get the vaccine at least two weeks before your travels.
You probably are already vaccinated against polio. however, it is advisable to get a polio booster when traveling to some parts of Africa.
It spreads through contaminated food and water. Oral and injectable vaccines are available, but you should take both a few weeks before traveling to provide immunity.