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There is much in the way of medical preparation that we are considering.

We'll be ensuring the following are up to date:


We're also seeking advice on the following:


Our GP runs a travel clinic, so we'll be using that as much as possible.  They can provide all vaccinations, however only some are free.  The remaining (Hep B, Cholera, Meningococcal Meningitis, Rabies) have a hefty cost attached per jab.  Rabies has a shortage at the moment, so we'll see what we are able to lay our hands on.


We are planning on starting our vaccination program about 6-7 months before our planned departure date, to ensure that we have had all boosters as well as first doses.  This will give us maximum effectiveness on the vaccinations.  Once we have a schedule, we'll add it here.  Please note, this is our own research, and shouldn't be interpreted as advice.

Keeping healthy

DOWNLOADS

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Vaccination Schedule


Medical & First Aid Kit Lists

Medical precaution

Vaccinations

Vaccination

Doses

Course Completed

Effectiveness

Hepatitis A

2 doses are recommended.  The 2nd dose is given 6-12 months after the first dose.

2 weeks prior

10 years

Hepatitis B

3 doses are recommended.  The 2nd and 3rd doses are given 1 and 6 months after the first dose.

2 weeks prior

10 years

Typhoid

1 dose

2 weeks prior

3 years

Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio

1 dose

3 months prior

10 years

Yellow Fever

1 dose

2 weeks prior

10 years





Cholera

Oral sachets.  3 doses taken 1 week apart.

2 weeks prior

2 years

Meningococcal Meningitis

1 dose

3 weeks prior

3-5 years

Rabies

3 doses are needed: the 2nd and 3rd doses are given 1 and 4 weeks after the first dose

1 month prior

3 years

We have researched many other travellers’ websites to understand what our medical and first aid kits should contain.  For simplicity and planning, we have distinguished between our medical kit (which contains the items to keep us well on a day to day basis) and our first aid kit (which contains items useful in case of injury).


In addition to the normal aspects of travelling in the vehicle, we also intend to take time out to enjoy doing some mountain biking - a passion of ours.  Past experience reminds us that extra precautions are necessary for this, and so out first aid kit may contain addition items that would be superfluous if you are being less adventurous.  


After creating lists of for both the medical and first aid kits, we set about sourcing items.  First stop was the bathroom cupboard.  A good few unopened items started our kit off.  Next, our local pharmacy (in this case Boots) was used to complete items for the medical kit.  SP Services, an online retailer specialising in First Aid and Immediate Care, was recommended to us by our first aid course instructor, and we used them for all our first aid items.  Any remaining items - such as a sterile set - were sourced online.


We will update the list through our preparation, and again after the trip.

First Aid Kit

Vaccinations

Up until now, we have used Malarone (Atovaquone/proguanil) for short trips into malaria areas.  These have worked well for both of us, but aren't appropriate for this trip due to both length of trip (Malarone is currently not used for longer than 3 months) and cost.


We are considering both Lariam (Mefloquine) and Doxycycline for our trip.  Lariam has the unfortunate side effect of anxiety, hallucinations and depression.  However, we tested and used Lariam without incident in 2010, so are feeling relaxed about using it again.  Doxycycline has the upside of being an antibiotic, so will also protect against other lurgies along the way.  The downside, however, is the increased sensitivity of the skin to the sun.


We also plan to carry a Malaria test and treatment kit with us.  Investigation still underway.


We'll update this once we have more information.


Update

We have decided to use Lariam for the trip, and have acquired a year’s supply each.  In addition, we have 2 courses of Coartem to treat Malaria (in the unfortunate event we contract it).  We are also taking Malaria test kits with us.


Update from the road - January 2013

Unfortunately, this time around, African GirlChild has reacted adversely to Lariam.  Symptoms included extreme anxiety and a level of depression.  We have both stopped Lariam, and will switch to Doxycycline.

Malaria Prevention

Eyes

Both of us are contact lens wearers.  We’ll be taking a year’s supply of lenses with us (thanks to my fabulous and pragmatic independent optician) and a prescription for refill.  We also both carry back-up spectacles.


Ladies health

Ladies - please drop me a note on explorers [at] kapp2cape.net and I can share more with you.


Other

Please feel free to email us if you have any other health related questions.


Other health

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