RECOMMENDED VACCINES WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO AFRICA

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Recommended Vaccines When You Travel to Africa

1) Hepatitis A 

Risk increases with duration of travel and is highest for those who live in or visit rural settings, trek in back-country areas, or frequently eat or drink in areas with poor sanitation.

2) Meningococcal Disease

Risk is increased for travellers to sub-Saharan Africa (the ‘meningitis belt’) during the dry season, especially if there is prolonged contact with locals.

3) Typhoid Fever

Risk is higher where environmental sanitation and personal hygiene may be poor. The adventurous eater venturing “off the beaten track” should also consider vaccination.

4) Rabies

Should be considered in most parts of the world if exposure to animals is expected. Travellers spending time outdoors, especially rural areas, and who are involved in outdoor activities (eg cycling, camping, hiking outdoor work, caving) are at particular risk. Children are also considered higher risk because they tend to play with animals and may not report bites.

5) Yellow Fever

Recommendations may vary by country.

Proof of vaccination (International Certificate of Vaccination) against yellow fever may be required or travel to and from some of the countries in South America and Trinidad and Tobago.

Some countries with endemic yellow fever may waive requirements for travellers coming from non-infected areas and staying less than 2 weeks. Vaccination is recommended for travel in countries that lie in yellow fever endemic zones but do not officially report the disease.

Note: This is a guide only. Advice by your healthcare professional will vary depending on destination, duration of travel, types of accommodation and what types of activities you take part in.

References:

1. Marshall GM. The Vaccine Handbook: A practical guide for clinicians, 4th edition. 2012.

2. Travel Clinics of America. Destinations 

3. World Health Organization. International Travel and Health 2014.

4. Kita Y, et al. Replacement of oral polio vaccine with inactivated polio vaccine and inclusion of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine in the national childhood immunization schedule. Epidemiological News Bulletin 2013; 39(2): 27-33

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