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Travel Vaccinations for Malawi
The table below provides a general guide as to the Travel Vaccinations that may be advised to you for travel to Malawi
Recommended Vaccinations for Malawi at a Glance
All Travellers: MMR, DTaP
Most Travellers: Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Some Travellers: Cholera, Hepatitis B, Rabies
|Vaccination||Major Risk Factors||Course||Price|
|MMR||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£60|
|Hepatitis A||Person-to-Person||Single Dose||£86|
|Cholera||Person-to-Person||Course of Two||£47.50|
|Hepatitis B||Person-to-Person||Course of Three||£66|
|Rabies||Person-to-Person||Course of Three - intramuscular||£66|
|Rabies||Person-to-Person||Course of Three - intradermal||£66|
Malawi, a county of great history and home to the third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi, is situated in south east Africa. It is a landlocked country with its neighbours being Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Known for its incredibly friendly and hospitable people, this former British colony is affectionately referred to as ‘the warm heart of Africa’. There is lots o see in Malawi, from tea estates to incredibly scenery such as the lush forests and the Rift Valley.
Advice for Travellers to all Destinations
The Vaccinations and Medications that are needed for travel vary from person-to-person. Everyone should have a personal risk assessment with a travel health professional to take into account a range of factors such as itinerary, medical condition, occupational and lifestyle risk factors and previous vaccination history.
All Travellers should ensure that they are up-to-date with Routine Vaccinations including Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio and Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
Most travellers will also need to consider a course or booster of Hepatitis A and Typhoid as there is a risk of these diseases across most parts of the world.
Some Travellers may also be advised additional vaccinations such as Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Hepatitis B based on their individual risk assessment.
Risk of Malaria in Malawi
Malaria is spread by the plasmodium parasite passed to humans from the bite of an anopheles mosquito. Malaria is a serious illness with symptoms include fever, chills, sweats and flu like symptoms. In severe cases, malaria can be fatal. There isn’t currently a vaccine available for our travellers, although there are other ways to protect yourself, see Malaria Information for Travellers.
There is a High Risk of Malaria across all areas of Malawi at all times during the year.
Travellers to areas where there is a Risk of Malaria should get advice regarding Malaria Medication which can be taken to help stop the illness from developing. The type of medication required depends on your destination, itinerary, length of stay and current medical condition. Further reduce the risk of by practicing mosquito Bite Avoidance by using Insect Repellent such as DEET 50% and covering exposed skin by wearing long sleeves and trousers.
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Further Travel Health Advice for Malawi
Dengue Fever precautions should be taken for travel to Malawi. Dengue fever is caused by mosquito bites from a specific mosquito which seems to be most active during daylight. There is no medical protection against dengue fever. What you can do is try to avoid mosquito bites and use mosquito repellent.
Schistosomiasis is a flatworm infection. You can get it through contact with affected fresh water streams, rivers or lakes. If you think you may have been exposed to or have contacted schistosomiasis, seek professional medical help.
Due to the fact that there is a point in Malawi higher than 2500m, Altitude Sickness may could be a problem. You can obtain altitude sickness medication and practice appropriate acclimatisation and gradual ascents to counter altitude sickness. Don’t forget, its not just your climbing altitude but your sleeping altitude as well that must be considered. Our travel nurse will be able to talk these through with you.
Due to its elevation, Malawian temperature is generally moderate to warm. Please check the weather for the period you are travelling as you will need to pack adequately and take reasonable precautions for the winter, hottest season and the rainy season.
Tap water in the cities is generally considered safe. If you have a delicate tummy though, consider bottled water instead as it is widely available and safer.
The main food base here is maize. While there is an abundance of choice in the larger cities, food in the rural areas is not as varied. Pork is not commonly served in eateries. Also, take your hand sanitizer with you when travelling out od the big cities as there may not be the best facilities for you to wash your hands in some parts.
Lots of different infections can be spread through Insect Bites, including Dengue Fever and Malaria both spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms can include fever, headache and severe joint, bone and muscular pain. Advice for dengue fever and malaria is listed above.
Make sure you have health insurance in place that will cover the full range of activities you plan to undertake while abroad
If you plan to hire a vehicle or to take part in trekking or other activities then always think of your own safety first. Road conditions are better in Malawi than in many other parts of Africa, but that said, be aware that road signs are not great and there are fuel shortages so stock up.