Friday, February 17, 2012

Fun Fact Friday

We're here to learn some other facts about Rwanda!!


I just had a friend send me some information about Rwanda and some of the things I need to know before going there. The thing that was most interesting to me was the vaccination list. It turns out that the most prominent illnesses are Malaria, Yellow Fever, Meningitis and Tuberculosis. Good news, we have vaccines for those so here is a list of all that I will need - 

This is an excerpt from the state department's website about Rwanda and vaccinations -
"There are periodic outbreaks of meningitis in Rwanda, and the meningitis vaccine is recommended if you are traveling during the dry season, May-October. Yellow fever can cause serious medical problems, but the vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease. The yellow fever vaccine is required for all travelers over 9 months of age, and travelers who cannot show proof of vaccination will not be permitted to enter Rwanda.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an increasingly serious health concern in Rwanda. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.
Malaria is endemic to Rwanda. You are strongly encouraged to take prophylactic medications to prevent malaria. These should be initiated prior to entry into the endemic area. Many malaria prophylaxis medicines are not available in Rwanda and, because of possible counterfeit of antimalarial medications, these should be obtained from a reliable pharmaceutical source before arrival. Multiple outbreaks of Ebola have been reported in neighboring DRC in 2007 and Uganda in 2008, but none within Rwanda. Rabies is present throughout the country. All bites, scratches, and licks should be taken seriously and post-exposure rabies treatment sought. Pre-exposure rabies immunization is recommended for long-term travelers, and those adventure travelers who will be more than 24 hours away from reliable post-exposure treatment.
Schistosomiasis, transmitted by waterborne larvae that penetrate intact skin, presents significant risk throughout the country. All fresh water lakes in the area should be considered contaminated. You should avoid swimming or wading in Lake Kivu and all freshwater exposure.
You can find more information on vaccinations and other health precautions, on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information"

The larvae eating the skin thing sounds kind of nasty, so I won't be swimming anywhere :). The biggest thing for me is just trying to figure out where to get these vaccines and how soon to do so. I'm still in the process of trying to book my stupid flight!! AAUUGGHHH 



    The health department does not give all the travel vaccines anymore and referred me to Passport Health.

    Yellow Fever is good for 10 years. My arm was really sore both times I got this one and sadly I am due again. Suggest planning this at least a month or 2 before you go. They don't always have it in stock and I noticed on their website that they do now so might want to go ahead and get an appt.

    Note anti-maleria drugs made me really constipated (of course you tend to drink less water since the tap water isn't safe so this can also contribute). I had some really wild and vivid dreams with mefloquine. They will look it up and give you what will cover you in Rwanda. The strains change so the prophylactic treatment is different in different areas.

    Don't get too freaked out about this stuff. Can talk about some tips when I see you tomorrow.

    1. Sherri,

      You are so awesome. I never even thought to ask you, DUH!! I am on the phone with them right now!!