Health Information

General Information on Health & Safety for Travelers

Covid-19 Pandemic & Current Info for the Entry into Tanzania

There is no ban on entry or quarantine on/after entry.

The following rules apply (source: Federal Foreign Office, Germany):

“”All travelers whose airline or country of departure requires a negative COVID 19 test result as a condition for departure must also present this test result on entry into Tanzania. Travelers from other countries who show COVID-19 symptoms will be subjected to an extended examination and if necessary a PCR test. A quarantine obligation no longer exists.

All persons should observe rules of distance and hygiene and wear face masks.”

PCR test certificate is no longer required by the Tanzanian side, unless it is already required by the customer’s departure country/airline. Special care should be taken if airlines / countries have their own guidelines and they may still require their customers to present these certificates.  It is best to coordinate with the airline in advance, as the request – as mentioned – is no longer from the Tanzanian side. The regulations for re-entry into the respective “home country” must also be observed.

 Specifics Regarding COVID Testing While in Tanzania: 

If you require a test to return home, tests are available at any time from a hospital in Moshi that is less than 1km from our office. The test results will be reported back 48 hours later. A test certificate will be issued and will be valid for another 72 hours. The cost of the test is Tsh 115,000/= (approximately $50 USD payable in Tanzanian shillings only). The price is the same whether you are a citizen or non citizen. Tests are given between 09:00 and 13:00 7 days a week including holidays.
 

In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, we have put in place measures that ensure the safety of
both our clients and employees. Our employees undergo regular training on Covid-19 updates, time after time.


Advice for All Destinations

The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities abroad, length of stay and general health of the traveller. It is recommended that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel. They will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines and /or antimalarial tablets. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

Measles occurs worldwide and is common in developing countries. The pre-travel consultation is a good opportunity to check that you are immune, either by previous immunisation or natural measles infection.

Ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including repatriation. UK travellers visiting other European Union countries should also carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as it entitles travellers to reduced cost, sometimes free, medical treatment in most European countries. Online applications normally arrive within seven days. Applications may also be made by telephone on 0300 330 1350 or by post using the form which can be downloaded from the website.

For Travel Safety Advice you should visit the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

A worldwide list of clinics, run by members of the International Society of Travel Medicine is available on the ISTM website.

Immunisations

  • Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain - including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.

  • Courses or boosters usually advised:   Diphtheria; Hepatitis A; Tetanus; Typhoid.

  • Other vaccines to consider:   Cholera; Hepatitis B; Meningococcal Meningitis; Rabies; Yellow Fever.

  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. The certificate of yellow fever vaccination is valid for life in this country.

Notes on the diseases mentioned above

  • Choleraspread  through consumption of contaminated water and food. More common during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. It would be unusual for travellers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.

  • Diphtheriaspread  person to person through respiratory droplets. Risk is higher if mixing with locals in poor, overcrowded living conditions.

  • Hepatitis Aspread  through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.

  • Hepatitis Bspread  through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.

  • Meningococcal Meningitisspread  by droplet infection through close person to person contact. Meningococcal disease is found worldwide but epidemics may occur within this country, particularly during the dry season. Risk is higher for those mixing with locals for extended periods.

  • Rabiesspread  through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.

  • Tetanusspread  through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

  • Typhoidspread  mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.

  • Yellow Feverspread  by the bite of an infected, day-biting mosquito. The disease is mainly found in rural areas but outbreaks in urban areas do occur. Vaccination is usually recommended for those who travel into risk areas. View yellow fever risk areas here. Some travellers may require vaccination for certificate purposes.

    Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Kenya or Tanzania only if arriving from a yellow fever affected area. Kenya and Tanzania are yellow fever affected areas so arrival from Kenya into Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination. No other immunizations are required. The CDC recommends that all travelers to East Africa be up-to-date on vaccinations for measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT), poliovirus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, yellow fever and typhoid; however, you should consult with your personal physician.
     

Malaria in Tanzania & Common Simple Problems During Your Trip in Tanzania

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.

Malaria precautions

Malaria Map

  • Malaria precautions are essential in all areas below 1800m, all year round.
  • Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets.
     
  • Atovaquone/proguanil OR Doxycycline (doxycyl 100) OR mefloquine is usually recommended.
  • If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.
  • If travelling to high risk malarious areas, remote from medical facilities, carrying emergency malaria standby treatment may be considered.


Other Common Simple Problems 

Headache
A common outdoor complaint, headaches have three general courses: 1) dehydration, 2) muscular tension, and 3) a vascular disorder. Most headaches respond to rest, hydration, massage and over-the-counter painkillers, e.g. ibuprofen. Beware of the headache that comes on suddenly, is unrelieved by rest and medication, and it not like any other headache you have ever had.
 

Nosebleed
Lean the patient forward and pinch the meaty part of the nose firmly shut. Hold it for 10 to 15 minutes. If bleeding persists, a squirt of a nose spray, such as Afrin, may help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding still persists, pack the nostrils gently with gauze soaked with antibiotic ointment or a spray such as Afrin. It is possible for noses to bleed from the back, and blood runs down the throat.

Snow blindness
Six to twelve hours after overexposure to the sun’s radiation, the patient complains of pain and swelling in the eye with a feeling like an “eye full of sand”. The cornea of the eye has been sunburned. Sunburned eyes are usually very sensitive to light. Rinses with cool water will clean the eye and ease the pain. Cool compresses may be applied for pain. A small amount of antibiotic ointment may be applied several times a day for two to three days. Ointments made for the eye are best. The patient’s eyes may need to be covered for 24 hours. Snow blindness almost always resolves harmlessly in 24 to 48 hours. Prolonged discomfort is reason to see a physician. The problem can be prevented by water; sunglasses should fit well and have side-shields to block reflected UV light.
 

Sunburn
The immediate response to overexposure to ultraviolet light is burned skin aging and degenerative skin disorders such as a cancer. First aid for sunburn includes cooling the skin, applying a moisturizer, ibuprofen for pain and inflammation, and staying out of direct sunlight. If blisters form, a doctor should be consulted. Prevention of sunburn includes hats with brims and tightly-woven clothing, sun blocks such as zinc oxide, and sunscreens with a high sun protection factor-SPF 15 or more. Be aware: You can burn on cloudy days, sunlight is most harmful between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, sunlight is most harmful between the hours of 10am and 3pm, and large amounts of UV light are reflected by snow and water.  

Diarrhea
The backcountry is home to a multitude of diarrhea-causing life forms: protozoa, bacteria, viruses. They will produce, generally speaking, one of two kinds of diarrhea:
1). Non-invasive diarrhea, with microbial colonies on upper small intestine walls, leading to abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and massive amounts of water, filled with salt and potassium, rushing out of the bowels. 2). Invasive diarrhea, sometimes called dysentery, with bacteria attacking the lower small intestine and colon, causing inflammation, bloody bowel movements, fever, abdominal cramping, and painful release of loose stools.
Whatever the cause, dehydration is the immediate problem with diarrhea. Mild diarrhea can be treated with water or diluted fruit juices or diluted sports drinks. Persistent diarrhea requires more aggressive replacement of electrolytes lost in the stool. Oral dehydration solutions are best for treating serious diarrhea. You can get by, usually, adding one tsp. salt and eight tsp. sugar to a liter of water. The patient should drink about one-fourth of this solution every hour, along with all the water he or she will tolerate. Rice, grains, bananas, potatoes are OK to eat. Fats, dairy products, caffeine and alcohol should be avoided.
Over-the-counter medications for watery diarrhea are available. Prescription medications include Lomotil. Dysentery should be treated with antibiotics, not medicinal plugs.


Dehydration
Water is easily and quickly lost from the body in the outdoors through sweating, urination, defecation, breathings, and diarrhea. Even mild dehydration causes loss of energy, loss of mental acuity, and loss of fun. Mild dehydration shows up as thirst, dry mouth and dark urine. Moderate dehydration adds very dry mouth, reduction of the amount of dark urine, a rapid weak pulse, and remarkable dizziness when the patient stands up. Severe dehydration very very dry mouth, lack of urine, and chock. Treatment of dehydration is explained above (see Diarrhea). Prevention is this: Drink half-liter every morning. Drink a quarter-liter every 15 to 20 minutes during periods of exercise. Drink enough to keep you urine clear.
 

Aedes Aegypti:

More Than A Triple Threat: Zika, Dengue, & Chikungunya. What About Yellow Fever? Yes, 4 Threats, One Mosquito!

Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is a mosquito that can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, Mayaro and yellow fever viruses, and other disease agents. The mosquito can be recognized by white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of its thorax.
 

Zika

First discovered in Uganda in 1947, the Zika virus is mostly invisible in four out of five infected people. With little to no symptoms, Zika can often be overlooked but is especially dangerous for pregnant women. Linked to the birth defect known as microcephaly, Zika can cause small heads and brain damage in newborns.
However, those who do develop symptoms often report low-grade fevers, conjunctivitis, joint pain, and rashes. In more severe cases, Zika has caused viral infections leading to paralysis of the legs.
 

Dengue Fever

Although rare in the United States, Dengue is common in highly traveled areas such as Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Also known as “Breakbone Fever,” dengue fever can be severe and cause excruciating pain to those who become infected. Characterized by a sudden high fever, rash, headache, and pain behind the eyes, along with muscle, joint, and bone pain, dengue fever can also lead to hemorrhagic fever, which can be deadly.
 

Chikungunya

Chikungunya is native to Asia and India but has started to make its way into European and American countries. With no cure and symptoms that may last months or years, chikungunya can also be asymptomatic. However, for those that do experience the effects of the disease, the joint pain is often debilitating. Not to mention the rash, severe swelling, headache, nausea, and fatigue that present themselves as well.

While no vaccine and treatments are available for the Zika, dengue fever, or chikungunya, avoiding exposure to mosquitos becomes crucial. However, with the limited warm seasons, we have here in New England, that’s easier said than done!