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Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

NYC
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Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

Hello,

I thought I'd poll this board to see what you all have to say regarding vaccinations/immunizations for Kenya. I already know the guidelines on the CDC/Kenya webpage, and so am looking for more of a realistic perspective from frequent travellers. I will be travelling to Eldoret (via Nairobi) for the first time in the first week of September. Since I am originally from India and visit there often, I consider myself to have hardy "third-world" immunity in that I have never had any special vaccinations before travelling to places like India, Mexico and China. I have, of course, had all the necessary vaccinations during childhood. However, what will complicate my trip to Kenya is that I will be 5-6 months pregnant...

Any advice? I will of course take all general precautions like eating reliable food and drinking safe water. I have also been told that since Eldoret is at an altitude, mosquitoes and malaria are not that much of an issue.

Thanks.

Staffordshire
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1. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

Hi , you will definitely need a Yellow fever jab (although your doc should advise on all jabs needed since you are pregnant) The more experienced of TA traveller will be give you better advice than me a mere novice of 8 years kenyanitis

Nairobi, Kenya
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2. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

You will not need a Yellow Fever jab unless you are crossing the border into Uganda or TZ. TA is not really the place to be getting medical advice, particularly if you are pregnant. None of us on here know your medical history, allergies, intolerances etc. I would suggest you go to see your GP and your Ob/Gyn.

FL410

Telford, Shropshire
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3. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

Flo is correct. It's a dangerous pastime to ask people about health matters. Speak to the professionals.

You cannot take any chances with pregnancy and only your GP will know what you have to do.

Min

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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4. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

Min, while I agree with you broadly, it's unfortunate that not all GPs or practice nurses are really very clued up on health requirements in Kenya. And because they tend to simply go by very broad guidelines, people end up having completely unnecessary and costly Yellow Fever shots for their trips when the disease has only had one recorded, small, outbreak, 16 years ago. I don't think we should simply excuse ourselves on lack of health qualifications, from offering the advice that we would give a friend.

There you go, that's my view! And no disrespect intended to anyone who disagrees, I'm always happy to be contradicted.

Shikakai, my view would be just go, use a net and any mosquito repellant you feel comfortable with (Nairobi and Eldoret are above "traditional" transmission zones, but there's evidence of transmission all the same) and have a great time. I'm not aware of any anti-malarials that are completely safe in pregnancy. My wife, a midwife, went to Kenya (safari, coast) when she was five months pregnant and had no qualms about it.

NYC
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5. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

Many thanks to all for your responses. First off, I know not to seek professional, medical advice on TA--I have already spoken with my OB and will be seeing a travel medicine specialist. I merely wanted to poll the group to get some personal takes on this. I tend to agree with Yankari--many GPs and OBs are quite clueless about the specific requirements for each country and tend to err on the side of recommending all sorts of medication and precautions even when they might not be necessary. When I consulted my OB, she had no information to offer and told me that I would need to see a travel medicine specialist.

Thanks, again.

Telford, Shropshire
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6. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

Shikakai & Yankari

I understand your points of view but this situation has come up on TA before.

My concerns are that someone on here would give out medical advice, that advice is taken (and yes, it CAN happen), and the person suffers because of it.

It's very important to note that we are holiday advisors, not medical advisors and as such should not be requested to give medical information or advice. There are lots of opinions about whether or not yellow fever innoculations should be taken or not. My opinion is that yes, you should have the vaccine. However, I don't know what effect that would have on a pregnant lady so would not recommend it either way!

It's a true minefield and really the only people who can help Shikakai are professionals, not holiday makers who give advice about holidays. If your own GP or nurses cannot advise you then I would seek out ones who can. I'm fortunate, my GP's and practice nurses are very good with vaccine information.

By the way, if this has come across as offensive, it's not my intention to be so, I'm a blunt Yorkshire woman and as such, not very good at putting my point across gently!!!

If we look at Shikakai's original question she says that she's aware of the CDC/Kenya guidelines and that she is "third World" hardy never having had special vaccinations. However, what she didn't tell us was that she had already seen OB Gyn people. Therefore, I'm confused as to what it is exactly she wants from forum users.

If it weren't for the fact that she was pregnant I would recommend ** in my opinion** what I recommend to everyone. Get all the vaccines, including Yellow fever and take anti malarials. Yellow fever might have had a "small outbreak" some years ago in Kenya but in ***my*** opinion, it's just not worth taking the risk for £50 (for ten years of cover).

That's my two pennorth!! Over to you. Let the debate begin.

Min xx (seriously, don't take offence - it's not meant to be offensive).

7. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

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Nairobi, Kenya
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8. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

I agree with you Min. Particularly in light of this sentence: "When I consulted my OB, she had no information to offer and told me that I would need to see a travel medicine specialist."

It doesn't matter if your GP and/or Ob don't have the requisite information if you have access to a travel medicine specialist. Every surgery I've ever been to has one, so surely far better to go there than ask what everyone else has done and then pick the mean of the responses.

If I were pregnant I wouldn't even be thinking of putting mosquito repellent on unless I were specifically advised - by my own medical specialist - that it couldn't penetrate into my bloodstream and affect my unborn child. Yet only the other week I saw someone advising a pregnant traveller to use 50% DEET. Sorry if this causes offence, but that kind of advice beggars belief to me.

FL410

9. Re: Vaccinations for Kenya necessary?

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