I’ve just got back from my local travel clinic where I spent almost an hour going through the locations I intend to ride through and assessing the various health risks I’m expected to encounter.
The nurse walking me through the process was really helpful and has put me on a fast track vaccination programme starting with Hepatitis A & B, which is combined, and Typhoid. My medical records indicate that I’m already immunised against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio and I’ve received two doses of the MMR vaccine which covers Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
I still need to decide upon buying the rabies jab, I need three of them in total which will give me and additional 24hs to find treatment should I contract it before I’m killed by it but they do cost a whopping £50 each. I might just carry a big stick to fend off aggressive animals.
The other grey area is malaria, there are many drugs to combat the illness, some better than others. Doxycycline and Mefloquine are touted as being quite effective with Chloroquine less so, Atovaquone and Proguanil were also referred to but I’ve forgotten in what context. I know that one of the better ones are only supposed to be used up to a period of one month and some of the less effective ones can be used for longer, also some make you feel dizzy and sick whilst other are fine.
At this stage all I can say is; price varies, your experience may differ, this is not medical advise and basically I need to do more research – I have the number of a specialist to call who I hope will be able to recommend an antimalarial programme for my tour, so fingers crossed they will chose a cheap one as the most effective for what I’m doing.