Malaria Risk and Travel Vaccine Information for Tanzania and Zanzibar
Tanzania and Zanzibar Overview
Many people every year travel to Tanzania and Zanzibar to soak up the sun on Tanzania's fantastic Indian Ocean beaches, see the extraordinary wildlife or attempt a climb up Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. A visit to Tanzania is truly spectacular.
Tanzania is a very popular destination with aid and charity workers. Due to the nature of work within local communities aid and charity workers along with those visiting friends and relatives are at the highest risk of issues when travelling to Tanzania.
The following expandable sections contain information on the risk of malaria, what vaccines are recommended and other important issues you may face when travelling to Tanzania.
Information Reviewed by Andrew Walton MPharm our Superintendent Pharmacist on: 30/4/2021
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Tanzania and Zanzibar - Malaria Risk
What is the risk of malaria in Tanzania?
It is the opinion of Travelpharm that customers to Tanzania and Zanzibar 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.
Information made available by the WHO shows that in 2017 the entire population of mainland Tanzania lived in high-risk malaria transmission zones (55.7 million people) with a reported 5.3 million cases and 3684 deaths. These figures are reported figures and generally underestimate the true malaria burden.
Whilst significant steps have been taken to reduce the avoidable malaria deaths unfortunately confirmed cases appear to be on the rise.
What malaria tablets should I take?
The following antimalarial tablets are suitable when travelling to Tanzania:
› 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 Tanzania and Zanzibar
Below is a table designed to show you what vaccines are mandatory, recommended or ones to consider when visiting Tanzania:
Tick Borne Encephalitis
Yellow Fever Vaccine
Certificate requirement if arriving from transmission risk country
Man = Mandatory
Con = Consider
Rec = Recommended
Req = Required if visiting from an area with risk of transmission
The information above was prepared using TravelHealthPro
Areas of High Altitude in Tanzania
Tanzania has areas of high altitude around the border with Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi. High altitude is defined as being over 2500m. The most notable example in Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m). Kilimanjaro treks are very difficult to acclimatise for as the ascents are far too rapid to allow for sufficient acclimatisation and whilst many individuals make the journey to the summit, many fail due to altitude-related illnesses.
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 an 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 offers a free online consultation service should you wish to purchase this.
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Travellers Diarrhoea in Tanzania and Zanzibar
Tanzania 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)
Trek Sensitive Insect Repellent 100ml
(Mefloquine 250mg) Single Tablets
Tablets 250/100mg Anti Malaria - Single Tablet
Travellers less than 40kg
Paediatric Tablets 62.5/25mg Anti Malaria - Single Tablet
Brands Many Vary
Atovaquone and Proguanil 250mg/100mg Single Tablet (Malarone generic tablets)