Vaccinations needed

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It has been recommended that we have the following jabs, which we are getting at the Nomad Travel Clinic in Bristol

The malaria issue - prevention or cure

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We have spent many hours discussing and debating this issue. Do we take anti-malaria's (prophylactics) for an extended period or do we take a chance and take the antidote Riamet at the first signs of symptoms? As most prophylactics are only 90% effective, it is a tough question. Is it worth spending a fortune on something that ultimately might not prevent us from getting malaria? Having said that, the initial symptoms of malaria are so common with other illnesses, fever, aches etc, one could easily become paranoid and start popping the antidotes like smarties.

This, together with that in my travels I have had dengue fever (a mild form of malaria) and tick bite fever, we have decided to go with taking prophylactics. But now we are faced with the issue of which one, as there a number of them on the market and they all have different side effects:

Mefloquine, also known as Larium is a tablet taken every 7 days, which is proven to be 90% effective. Side effects include paranoia, weird dreams and anxiety, although only a small handful of people experience these symptoms. It is recommended that you take a sample course for a couple of weeks first to test for weird reactions. It is important that no alcohol be consumed on the day of the week you take the pill. What? No gin and tonics on a Monday? Ooohhh…now that's gonna be hard.

Doxycycline is an antibiotic anti-malarial which is proven to be 90% effective. It is taken every day but side effects produce allergic skin reactions (not sure about Rob's sensitive English skin?) and also, because it's an antibiotic, it actually counteracts the effect of the contraceptive pill. Hmmm….am broody but not that broody. Morning sickness on those Congo roads? No thanks

Chloquine and Proquanil: only 60% effective and taken twice weekly. Best suited for short journeys.

We have decided to give Larium a go. Any bets on which one of us will lose the plot first?

Mozzie sense and sensibility

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As far as mozzie protection goes, it's all really basic common sense:

Courses and information

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Due to our past careers in the yachting industry we are both very familiar with first aid and safety procedures. So, we won't be taking any more First Aid courses but will just be taking a couple of books with us. Expedition Medicine by David Warrell is excellent.

Medical kit

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medical kitTricky one this, do you just go with the basics and take a couple of packs of paracetamol and some plasters or get carried away and go all out catering for all emergencies? I think we kinda aimed for somewhere in between that. After talking to some experienced overlander friends and researching numerous websites, we have come up with the following list of kit, which has fitted nicely into some Basic Nature packing bags from (Really handy packing bags by the way. We've just ordered a few more for clothes, undercrackers and stuff.)

selection bandages, gauze and dressings

granuflex dressings for tropical sores

savlon antiseptic spray and cream

dettol antiseptic wash

antiseptic wipes

latex gloves

needle and suture set

scissors and safety pins

digital thermometer

iv cannula

tweezers and scalpels

assorted plasters


burn dressings and cream

syringes and needles

micropore tape


eye wash and bath

deep heat cream

hydrocortisone cream

daktarin fungal cream

fucudin antiseptic cream

bonjela for ulcers

3b rash cream

calamine lotion for skin rash

imodium for diarrhoea

senokot for constipation

rehydration sachets

aspirin for mild pain and paracetamol

clarityne anti-histamine

ibuprofen for pain and inflammation

cold/flu capsules

lemsip sachet


eno's for tummy troubles

rennies for indigestion

vit c fizzies

tea tree oil (antiseptic)

clove oil (temp relief dental pain)

macromed malaria tests

augmentin general antibiotics

ciprofloxacin gut antibiotic

afterbite mozzie bite treatment

anthisan mozzie bite treatment

jungle mozzie spray 50% deet

bens mozzie spray 100% deet

lifesystem mozzie spray 100% deet

nomad neet deet

nomad clothing treatment

outdoor mozzie coils

zapper click mozzie bite treat

larium tablets and antidote

However, I do have visions of me doing some last minute panic buying!

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