So I’ve found myself talking a lot about vaccines lately. We’ve gotten a couple of travel ones before, particularly for China and Southeast Asia but never did I think that for our trip to Africa we would have to get THIS loaded up. I think I received 8 in the last months + an oral one against typhoid that we have to start taking tonight. My little yellow booklet (or as I like to call it my “I’m-certifiably-not-going-to-get-this-disease-at-least-for-a-few-years” pass) is literally full, Boogie’s nearly so. Everything from rabies to meningitis and yellow fever has passed through our veins these past weeks, albeit in inactive form (doesn’t make my immune system any less stressed, I imagine).
Needless to say all of this didn’t come cheap either – this being Switzerland – but when it comes to a whole host of nasty bugs and viruses, Africa and its tropical regions in particular are not ones to mess with. Of course most people there don’t have the privilege of quick and easy access to vaccines or treatments and have to suffer through even the most simple water-borne ones that kill children in particular. Then there’s the “Big M”, of course, which we’ll also have to face, most likely sans prophylactics, except when we visit the most malaria-ridden areas along the coast.
It’ll be interesting to see how this all pans out and if we manage to avoid anything serious. I obviously really, REALLY hope so. Locals seem convinced that even malaria isn’t that big of a threat in Moshi, the city we’re living in, and in any case, the city apparently has a well-stocked pharmacy (whatever that means in relative terms – I’m curious to see) and one of the best, if not THE best hospital in the country.
Fingers crossed and our little yellow booklets firmly in hand. Three weeks to go now.