Mwanza is a bit
away from home and many things are different; e. g. water-, food-
and weather conditions. But your health as visitor depends often on
the preparation before leaving your hometown - and your family doctor.
Discuss the requirements with her/him not later than six weeks before
leaving. There are few requirements for proof of vaccinations for
entry into Tanzania, but some protections/vaccinations are strongly
recommended anyway; e.g. against hepatitis A + B, typhoid, diphtheria,
tetanus and yellow fever.
Acute health problems when in Mwanza: CF
Hospital, Station Road, phone: +255 28
If you need a dentist: HOPE Dental Clinic, Balewa Road, Isamilo
Hills. Phone +255 28 2500732 (landline), +255 754 887254 and +255
Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted between
humans by a mosquito. General precautions to avoid mosquito bites
should be followed. These include the use of insect repellent (e.g.
Citronella oil or DEET), protective clothing, and mosquito netting.
Yellow fever is a very rare cause of illness in travellers, but some
countries in Africa still have regulations and requirements for yellow
fever vaccination. And among them - Tanzania.
Yellow fever vaccine entry requirements are necessary for travellers
to comply with in order to enter Tanzania. In general, these are in
place to prevent importation and transmission of yellow fever virus.
Countries requiring yellow fever vaccination for entry adhere to the
regulations put forth by WHO - as stated in the International Health
Some countries require vaccination for travellers coming from an endemic
zone. "Travelling from an endemic zone" is defined as transit
through an endemic zone in the previous 6 (six) days. E.g. if you
are travelling via Zambia, Kenya or Uganda - you are coming from an
Recently the authorities have established a 'Yellow Fever Check Point'
at the door step to Dar es Salaam International Airport for passages'
coming direct from Europe or US via Europe.
There's no need for that - it's only a money milking machine. To get
an ejection 'at the door step' will have no effect for many travellers
on a short holiday/safari - as it has to be injected at least 10 days
before arrival for giving protection.
The vaccination is however a relatively cheap and it is valid for
10 years. And don't forget, that yellow fever is a deadly disease
without any known cure.
Ebola virus causes an acute, very serious illness which is
often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared
in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the
other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred
in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its
It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural
Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through
close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids
of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys,
forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct
contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood,
secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and
with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated
with these fluids.
The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with
the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious
until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of
fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed
by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver
function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g.
oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include
low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.
NOTE: There have never been any
cases of Ebola virus (EVD) in Tanzania.
Travellers' diarrhoea is a clinical syndrome resulting from
microbial contamination of ingested food and water; it occurs during
or shortly after travel, most commonly affecting persons travelling
from an area of more highly developed hygiene and sanitation infrastructure
to a less developed one like Tanzania. Diarrhoea is the most common
travel-related illness. Avoid tap water, un-pasteurised milk, ice-cubes
in drinks, fresh vegetables and fruits (of not cooked or peeled).
Be selective when taking food from street vendors - it has to be cooked
seriously all the way through.
Seek medical attention if the diarrhoea last for more than two - three
days, are extreme painful and self treatment isn't working. A good
self treatment is mashed bananas with plenty of fluids - e.g. Coca
Malaria is a serious disease that is transmitted to humans
by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Symptoms may
include fever and flu-like illness, including chills, headache, muscle
aches and fatigue. Malaria can often be prevented by using anti-malarial
drugs and by using personal protection measures to prevent mosquito
bites. However, in spite of all protective measures, travellers may
still develop malaria. Malaria symptoms will occur at least seven
to nine days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Fever in
the first week of travel in a malaria-risk area is unlikely to be
malaria; however, any fever should be promptly evaluated. Travellers
who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while travelling in
a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should
seek prompt medical attention and should tell the physician their
travel. There are several types of anti-malarial drugs. Discuss the
best one for you with your doctor before leaving home.
The two most prescribed malaria-preventions today are: Doxycyklin(Vibradox)
and Malarone. None are without small physical as well as some economical
side effects. Malarone is effective, but somewhat expensive - why
many travellers choose Doxycyklin(Vibradox) in the end - as their
favourite protection against malaria. Always bring the anti-malarial
drugs with you from home.
Latest news: An injecting against malaria
has been on its way for almost 30 years, but it's now ready for distribution
in the 2nd half of 2015).
Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito*) infected
with one of the four dengue virus serotypes. It is a febrile illness
that affects infants, young children and adults with symptoms appearing
3 - 14 days after the infective bite.
Dengue is not transmitted directly from person-to-person and symptoms
range from mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache,
pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rash. There is no
vaccine or any specific medicine to treat dengue. People who have
dengue fever should rest, drink plenty of fluids to reduce the fever
- and see a doctor ASAP.
Severe dengue (also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever) is characterized
by fever, abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding and breathing
difficulty and is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly
children. Early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management
by trained physicians and nurses increase survival of patients. *)
It's the Day-biting Aedes mosquito which spreads the disease.
NOTE: Dengue fever is quite uncommon in Tanzania, but there
are known cases as late as in 2014.
Typhoid fever is an acute, life-threatening febrile illness
caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. The disease is characterized
by fever, headache, malaise, anorexia, splenomegaly, and a relative
bradycardia. Many mild and atypical infections occur. Typhoid vaccination
is not required for international travel, but it is recommended for
travellers to areas where there is a recognized risk of exposure to
Salmonella typhi. Vaccination is particularly recommended for those
who will be travelling in smaller cities, villages, and rural areas
off the usual tourist itineraries. Travellers should be cautioned
that typhoid vaccination is not 100% effective and is not a substitute
for careful selection of food and drink. There is more than one type
of protection against typhoid fever. Discuss the best one for you
with your doctor before leaving home. It is recommended to be protected
before entering Tanzania.
Hepatitis A, B and C: "Hepatitis" means inflammation
of the liver. It can have many causes, including viruses, medications
and alcohol. Most commonly, however, we think of the viruses, called
A, B and C.
Hepatitis A causes an acute hepatitis that almost always gets
better on its own. It is easily spread from person to person, in food
and water, and can infect many people at once.
Hepatitis B can be both acute (short-term illness) and chronic
(ongoing illness), and is spread through blood or other body fluids
in various ways. Hepatitis C is almost always chronic and spreads
only by blood. Hepatitis A and B can be prevented by vaccination,
but not Hepatitis C. There are now many good medications available
to treat chronic Hepatitis B and C.
The symptoms of acute hepatitis include yellowing of the skin and
eyes, nausea, fever and fatigue. Chronic hepatitis may have no symptoms,
and can last many years and lead to cirrhosis of the liver, which
means the liver becomes heavily scarred and less functional. Cirrhosis
can sometimes lead to cancer of the liver or liver failure, both of
which may require a liver transplant.
Prevention is very important. Other than vaccination, people should
be very careful about hygiene (such as hand-washing after using the
restroom) to prevent Hepatitis A. Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted
by sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes with someone who
has the disease. All three forms of viral hepatitis are very common
around the world.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by toxigenic
Vibrio cholerae. The infection is often mild and self-limited or sub
clinical. People with severe cases respond dramatically to simple
fluid- and electrolyte-replacement therapy. Infection is acquired
primarily by ingesting contaminated water or food; person-to-person
transmission is rare. The vaccine against cholera gives poor protection,
many side effects, so it's not recommended for travellers. People
who follow usual tourist itineraries and who observe food safety recommendations
while in countries reporting cholera have virtually no risk. Risk
increases for those who drink untreated water or ingest poorly cooked
or raw seafood in endemic areas.
Other (not especially travel related)
Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease caused by the toxin-producing
bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae. It usually affects the respiratory
tract (primarily the larynx, tonsils, and throat). But it can also
affect the skin, and the toxin produced by this bacterium can damage
the nerves and heart.
Diphtheria is found only in humans and is usually transmitted by respiratory
droplets from infected persons or a symptomatic carrier, but can be
transmitted by contaminated objects or foods (such as contaminated
milk). The incubation period is 2 to 5 days.
Tetanus is an acute disease caused by the toxin of the bacterium
Clostridium tetani that affects the central nervous system, sometimes
resulting in death. Spores of the bacterium Clostridium tetani live
in the soil and are distributed worldwide. In the spore form, Clostridium
tetani may remain dormant in the soil, but can be infectious for periods
longer than 40 years. The disease is characterized by painful muscular
contractions. Vaccination for diphtheria and tetanus are usually combined
and are recommended for everyone, and boosters are necessary very
ten years. Consult your family doctor before leaving home.
AIDS is a serious disease, first recognized as a distinct syndrome
in 1981. This syndrome represents the late clinical state of infection
with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), resulting in progressive
damage to the immune system and in life-threatening infectious and
HIV infection occurs worldwide. Comprehensive surveillance systems
are lacking in many countries, so the true number of cases is likely
to be far greater than the numbers officially reported, particularly
from developing nations. No vaccine is available to prevent infection
Travellers should be advised that HIV infection is preventable. HIV
is not transmitted through casual contact; air, food, or water
routes, contact with inanimate objects, mosquitoes or other arthropod
Prevention of HIV equires foresight and self-discipline. The requirements
often seem personally restrictive, but they are effective and can
save your life. "Safe sex" practices, such as latex condoms,
are highly effective in preventing HIV transmission. HOWEVER, there
remains a risk of acquiring the infection even with the use of condoms.
Abstinence is the only 100% sure way to prevent sexual transmission
Bilharzia: Note that Lake Victoria is riddled with Bilharzia,
so avoid swimming or walking barefoot through the grass along its
shores, as this is where the parasite-hosting snails lurk. Some few
km out in the lake there will be no problems, but still on your own
www.cdc.gov - Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.Hospital/clinic in Mwanza:
- Care and Treatment, Station Road, Mwanza. Phone: +255 28 250 0260.