Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Medications for Kenya

Countdown to Kenya Post #2

In preparation for my mission trip to Kenya I have had to get several shots, although there are no required shots needed.  You would think that if you were going on a mission trip to a foreign country where you really can’t drink anything except bottled water, there would be some required vaccinations, but there isn’t.   Many are suggested, but none are required I had heard that most insurances do not cover travel vaccinations and medications, but I called my insurance company and they said they do cover them all.  Good thing too, because my malaria medication is $30 per pill!  Ouch.

This is what I am doing for my trip to Kenya to be vaccinated and medicated enough that hopefully I will not contract any diseases while there.  **Disclaimer:  I am by no means a doctor (That would be a scary thought if I was!)  and this should NOT be taken as advice for what you should do if you go on a trip. **

When I was younger I received several required vaccinations, however, we cannot find my vaccination records (I blame my Mom :) ) so I got a few of them again. I got three shots and two oral medications for my trip.
Typhoid (oral medication)-4 refrigerated pills taken every other day for 7 days.  Typhoid fever is a serious, sometimes fatal, illness caused by a bacteria called Salmonella typhi. These bacteria are spread through contaminated food, drink or water and can spread from person to person. They thrive in places with poor sanitation. (Source)
Malaria (oral medication)-24 pills total, 2 two days before I leave, 15 while I am gone, and 7 days after I return.  Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health-care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.  (Source)
Hepatitis A (shot) Hepatitis is an irritation of the liver that sometimes causes permanent damage. It is most often spread by unclean food and water. Travelers can be infected from person-to-person contact or through food and water that has been contaminated with animal or human feces (Source)
Yellow Fever (shot) Yellow fever is a viral illness, carried by some species of mosquitoes in Central and South America, and in tropical regions of Africa. A mild attack may have symptoms similar to those of the flu. More severe symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, bleeding, abdominal pains and yellowing of the skin as a result of liver damage. (Source)  
Tetanus (shot) Tetanus (Lockjaw) is a rare but severe disease that causes muscle contractions which can lead to breathing problems and even death. Tetanus can occur if contaminated soil enters cuts or wounds, such as a burn.  (Source)

In addition to the medications and vaccinations I received I will be bringing :
-Mosquito repellant with DEET
-Sunscreen and Chapstick
-Pepto Bismol
-Hand Sanitizer
-Dramamine (for motion sickness)

They gave me a list of to do’s and not to do’s while I am there like drink only bottled water, don’t eat salads (you don’t know how they are cleaned), fruits with thick skins that you peel yourself, etc.

Wish me luck I don’t get sick while there!  When I return I will update this if there is any more information that you should know!

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