Malaria Risk and Travel Vaccine Information for Kenya
Kenya - Travel Overview
Travel to Kenya is very popular and rewarding with stunning scenery and fantastic culture but Kenya is a very large country and has potentially many risks that need preparing for. Popular destinations include Nairobi, Mombassa and the Indian Ocean beaches, Mt Kenya, Masai Mara and other National Parks, like Tsavo East and Tsavo West. Kenya is a very popular destination with aid and charity workers with a Nakuru being a popular destination for this. Due to the nature of work in local communities aid and charity workers along with those visiting friends and relatives are at the highest risk of issues when travelling to Kenya.
The following sections contain information on the risk of malaria, what vaccines are recommended and other important issues you may face when travelling to Kenya.
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Kenya - Malaria Risk
What is the risk of malaria in Kenya?
It is the opinion of Travelpharm that customers to Kenya are at high risk of contracting malaria and therefore they should observe strict bite avoidance measures and take anti malaria medicines in all areas of the country, except Nairobi.
Information made available by the WHO shows that in 2017 34.9 million people in Kenya lived in high risk transmission zones, with an estimated 3.5 million cases of malaria leading to nearly 13,000 unnecessary deaths. Unfortunately the battle against malaria is a difficult one with increasing numbers of cases since 2010. On a positive note the numbers of households using mosquito nets in the evening has increased with modelled data suggesting 75% of the population have access to/or slept under a net the previous night.
What malaria tablets should I take?
The following antimalarial tablets are suitable when travelling to Kenya:
› Atovaquone and Proguanil 250mg/100mg- Generic Alternative to Malarone
› Malarone Tablets
› Malarone Children's Tablets (for Children under 40kg weight)
› Doxycycline Capsules
› Lariam Tablets (Mefloquine 250mg)
› Maloff Protect Tablets (Atovaquone/Proguanil)
Vaccinations for Kenya
Below is a table designed to show you what vaccines are mandatory, recommended or ones to consider when visiting Kenya:
Tick Borne Encephalitis
Yellow Fever Vaccine
Man = Mandatory
Con = Consider
Rec = Recommended
Req = Required if visiting from area with risk of transmission
Areas of High Altitude in Kenya
Kenya has areas of high altitude in and around Nairobi. High altitude is defined as being over 2500m. Some notable examples in Kenya include:
Mount Kenya (5199mm)
Mount Elgon (4321m)
Travel to high altitude can cause several conditions which include Acute Mountain Sickness (Altitude Sickness) and the more severe High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE).
Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and sleep disturbance Improvement will only occur by descending to lower altitudes. Complications can occur for persisting with ascent that can lead to swelling around the brain or fluid collecting in the lungs. Ultimately HAPE and HACE can prove fatal.
Prevention is by slow ascent (no more than 500m per day once over 3000m) and by ensuring travel to high altitude areas from low altitude areas is not done in a single day.
Travel Health Pro have an excellent resource for helping to determine a patients risk based on previous experience and elevation. The information is available here
Patients potentially at risk due to unavoidably rapid ascents, or those with previous experience of Acute Mountain Sickness may benefit from taking Acetazolamide (Diamox). Travelpharm offer a free online consultation service should you wish to purchase this.
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Travellers Diarrhoea in Kenya
Kenya has a high prevalence of reported cases of travellers diarrhoea with an expected risk of suffering illness greater than 20%.
It is important to ensure you observe strict hygiene and to be careful of what food and drink is being consumed. We have a handy guide available in our travel blog and we also stock a large selection of medicines to help ease your symptoms in our stomach and bowel section.
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How to order?
Brands May Vary
100mg (Single Capsules)
(Mefloquine 250mg) Single Tablets
Tablets 250/100mg Anti Malaria - Single Tablet
Travellers less than 40kg
Paediatric Tablets 62.5/25mg Anti Malaria - Single Tablet
Acetazolamide 250mg (Single Tablets)
Brands Many Vary
Atovaquone and Proguanil 250mg/100mg Single Tablet (Malarone generic tablets)