1. Routine vaccines such as:
2. Hepatitis A
Touchwood Pharmacy offers advice and vaccinations to prepare you for your trip to Africa. Here is more information about what you’ll need:
Hepatitis Vaccine for Travel to Africa
Hepatitis A is very contagious and can be spread with or without symptoms. It is a vaccine-preventable liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is found in the stool and blood of infected people and spread from close personal contact. This includes caring for a person who is ill, certain types of sexual contact and using drugs with others. This vaccine is required when travelling to an area with poor levels of sanitation, and where Hepatitis A is common. Sub saharan Africa falls into this category.
Typhoid Vaccine for Travel to Africa
Vaccination is recommended against typhoid fever along with taking precautions such as practising effective personal and hand hygiene along with observing strict food and water safety measures. Because certain areas of Southeast Asia are remote or have poor sanitation and limited access to clean water, typhoid vaccination is recommended prior to travel. Typhoid is spread through sewage contamination of food or water. If contaminated water is used to wash food, or if someone who has typhoid does not wash their hands after using the bathroom, it can spread. If you do contract typhoid fever, it is potentially fatal if left untreated.
Polio Booster for Travel to Africa
Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly disease that attacks the nervous system. A good portion of Africa is a high risk destination for polio, due to low uptake of general vaccine distribution, among other reasons. Polio is most frequently spread through contact with the faeces of an infected person. Less frequently, it spreads through droplets from a sneeze or cough from an infected person. Good hand washing can help prevent spreading, but vaccination is the best defence.
Diphtheria Vaccine for Travel to Africa
Diphtheria is a potentially fatal contagious bacterial infection that mainly affects the nose and throat as well as the skin, on occasion. Diphtheria vaccines are routinely given during childhood in the UK, but a booster shot is recommended if you are going to a part of the world where diphtheria is widespread. Diphtheria bacteria spreads through droplets from coughing or sneezing, as well as through touching infected open sores or ulcers. This means it can be caught as easily as a cold or flu if you happen to be in the same room as someone who is infected. Africa is one of the locations endemic for diphtheria due to low rates of vaccine uptake.
Tetanus Vaccine for Travel to Africa
Tetanus, or lockjaw, is an infection that causes painful muscle contractions. It spreads differently than other vaccine preventable diseases as it does not spread from person to person. It spreads, rather, when bacteria trapped in soil, dust and manure enters the body through breaks in human skin. This usually happens because of a puncture wound or a cut caused by a contaminated object like a nail or a wire. Tetanus is usually given in a combined diphtheria, polio and tetanus vaccine during childhood in the UK, but you may need a booster to travel, depending on how long ago your last set of vaccinations has been or whether you can provide evidence of those vaccinations before travel.
Yellow Fever Vaccine for Travel to Africa
To avoid yellow fever infection, as well as other mosquito borne vaccine-preventable illnesses, vaccination along with taking additional precautions against mosquito bites is recommended. These can include using DDT insect repellent, wearing long sleeves, sleeping with air conditioning or using a mosquito net over your bed at night. Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. “Yellow” in the name refers to the yellowing of the eyes and skin that affects some patients called jaundice. Yellow fever occurs in some tropical areas of the continent and is a required vaccination for travel to Africa. You should have this vaccination at least 10 days before travel where you will be issued a Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis when the vaccine has been administered which is valid for life.