There are a number of tropical diseases visitors can catch in Tanzania but most of the risks can be avoided as long as you get the right vaccinations for Tanzania before setting off. It is recommended to see your doctor around 6 weeks before your trip to allow plenty of time to schedule in the vaccines for Tanzania. Visitors should also apply for their visa for Tanzania in advance.
Malaria is a real risk throughout much of Tanzania but there isn’t a vaccine available that offers protection against the disease. There is the option of taking antimalarial tablets though they can cause various side effects so it’s best to speak to your doctor.
Vaccinations for Tanzania
Your doctor will be able to tell you which vaccinations you need before going to Tanzania. There are a number of vaccines you should have before going to any country, as well as some vaccines which you specifically need for Tanzania. Make sure you meet all the visa requirements for Tanzania before heading off.
Here is a complete list:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
*A yellow fever vaccine for Tanzania is also recommended although a yellow fever vaccination certificate is not a requirement to enter (unless you’re coming from an infected area).
Other Health Advice for Tanzania
As long as you take basic preventive measures and stay up-to-date with your vaccinations, you should be able to avoid the worst health risks. Minor problems such as colds and diarrhea are the most likely problems.
Road accidents are a big danger which visitors should bear in mind. Avoid traveling at night, don’t catch the ‘dalla-dallas’ minibusses, and be very careful on the roads in general to minimize the chances of an accident.
Most doctors in Tanzania expect payment in cash so it’s best to find an insurer who makes direct payments to health providers, rather than one who will reimburse you later. Make sure your policy covers emergency transport in case you need treatment which is unavailable there.
Visitors should take a first-aid kit with them in case of minor illnesses or injuries. The following items are recommended:
- Aspirin or paracetamol
- Antibacterial ointment for cuts and skin abrasions
- Anti-diarrhoea drugs
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen)
- Bandages and plasters
- Insect repellent
- Malaria self-diagnosis kit
- Pocket knife
- Rehydration salts
- Safety pins
- Sunblock (high factor)
- Water purification tablets