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Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Isle of Man, United...
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Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

We are considering 1 week in gambia as we would like some sunshine and nice swimming..However, all these vaccinations mentioned at the below site

mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/…gambia.html

- Really, is it needed? Please? What is the best site to use for booking?

Sussex, UK
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1. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Hi there

My boyfriend and I are off to Gambia next month and have been through the process of finding out what injections etc you need.

You MUST have a yellow fever jab (approx £40) otherwise you risk being jabbed at the airport by someone speaking very little english and perhaps not a very sterile needle or even being turned away fm entering the country!

You also need to be up to date with your tetanus, typhoid and diptheria. If you havent had a tetanus jab in the last 10 yrs then you will need a booster dont worry thou you wont have to have each vaccination separately as for instance you can have tetanus, typhoid and diptheria as one combined injection.

you also need to have had a hepatitis A jab which is really important as it can be passed on so easily.

another important thing to take with you is anti-malaria tablets they differ in prices but the best so im told is malarone. you have to take these for two days before you leave, whilst your away (one a day) and for a week when your back. Note: malarone is not cheap you can get other anti-malaria tablets but you do need to take others for about a month after you get back which is a bit annoying plus the side effects can be quite severe.

you'll need a private prescription to get these (should be free to get this fm your doctors) make sure you shop around as the price for malarone can differ quite a lot fm one chemist to another - expect to pay as much as £2.50 per tablet - the best price ive found is fm stratford pharmacy online £1.99 each but then you still need to pay for P&P.

id really recommend you make an appointment to see the travel clinic at your doctors as they will be able to help you with all of the above - and tell you about anything I may have forgotten about.

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2. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

hi there,we went to gambia last month & you definately do NOT need a yellow fever injection unless you are travelling to senegal & back into gambia...no one will try to stick a needle in your arm at the airport!!! it is a lovely country with lovely people...book it!!!

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Southend
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3. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Hi there

We too are off to Gambia soon and have had all of the above mentioned injections which were free with the exception of Yellow Fever which was £45 each.

I was led to believe from our travel clinic that although you do not actually 'have' to have YF to enter Gambia some other countries would not grant you entry in future if you had a Gambia stamp in your passport and no vaccination certificate!

It only works out £4.50/year so if you keep up with the 'exotic' holidays it will be worth it.

£1.99 is also the cheapest that I have found maleone tabs although my chemist did mention Avloclure (think that is how you spell it) as an alternative to look into!

Deb

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Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Hello people and many thanks for your advice and tips...After consideration we decided to go to Egypt instead... It seems that there is too much husle with flabs,etc for 7 days only... However, Gambia seems to be such a lovely place...lovely sand..I will bear this in mind when planning our next holidays ;-)

thanks again.

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Shrewsbury
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5. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Plenty of sand in Egypt.

Unless things have changed recently, Yellow Fever jabs are not necessary for travel between the UK and The Gambia. I've never heard any mention of anyone being forced to have a jab on entry to the country and if so then that one jab would probably exceed the cost of the annual health budget for a Gambian citizen - probably illegal under international law as well. Sounds like scaremongering to me. Any recent travellers to the country had any experience of this?

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Lux
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6. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

In fact it is very simple. There is yellow fever in The Gambia and there is malaria. Both can be fatal. You and only you have to answer the simple question: Do I want protection or not. And than you decide on how you will protect yourself: not at all, a little bit or seriously.

The yellow fever certificate (just paper work) is required in The Gambia if you are over 1 year old and entering from an endemic or infected area. It is not he certificate that protects you. It´s you. You are wrong when you say: I´m not coming from an endemic area (ex. Senegal), I don´t need a certificate, so I don´t need protection. It´s up to you.

H.

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Bristol, United...
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7. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

What the hell are some People on,....??

There is NO NEED for Yellow Fever Jabs, your local Doctor or travel Clinic will confirm that..

The only reason you need Yellow Fever jab, is if you are visiting Senegal.

Mind you I drove down, few weeks ago and went back and forward to there 3 times, Not Once was I asked for a YF Certificate....!

I quote from

http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/

Hepatitis A

Recommended for all travelers

Typhoid

Recommended for all travelers

Yellow fever

Required for travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas.

Meningococcus

Recommended during the dry season (November through June)

Polio

One-time booster recommended for any adult traveler who completed the childhood series but never had polio vaccine as an adult

Hepatitis B

For travelers who may have intimate contact with local residents, especially if visiting for more than 6 months

Rabies

For travelers who may have direct contact with animals and may not have access to medical care

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1956, if not previously given

Tetanus-diphtheria

Revaccination recommended every 10 years..

Rich..

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8. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Ric seems to have got it right.

"There is yellow fever in The Gambia and there is malaria. Both can be fatal. "

You might reword this as "There is yellow fever in The Gambia and it is very rare. There is also malaria which is much more common. Both can be fatal. " You might then add that there is NO LEGAL REQUIREMENT to have been vaccinated against Yellow Fever when travelling from the UK (and probably from the rest of Europe) but there is a legal requirement to have the certificate of innoculation when travelling from a country where Yellow Fever is prevalent. You might also reflect upon the reality of the situation in which case you will realise, as Ric asserts, remembering that this is a poor country with limited resources, that it entirely possible that you can enter the country without having to produce the certificate.

Many people decide not to take prophylaxis against malaria, despite it being quite easy to get. It should not be surprising that people also decide to take the risk with Yellow Fever, which really is much less common.

Incidentally, my certificate that I received following innoculation in the UK is taped to the inside cover of my passport - but I didn;'t have the jab especially for The Gambia.

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9. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Think I'll go and bang my Head against a Wall...!!!!

Between 1939 and 1952 yellow fever cases almost vanished from French West Africa after intensive vaccination campaigns.

Similarly, Gambia instituted mass routine vaccination after its 1979/1980 epidemic and later incorporated yellow fever vaccine into its childhood immunization programme.

Gambia reported 85% vaccine coverage in 2000. No cases have been reported since 1980, yet the virus remains present in the environment.

To prevent an epidemic in a country, at least 80% of the population must have immunity to yellow fever. This can only be achieved through the effective incorporation of yellow fever into childhood immunization programmes and the implementation of mass catch-up campaigns. The latter is the only way to ensure that coverage of all susceptible age groups is achieved and will prevent outbreaks from spreading. Very few countries in Africa have achieved this level to date.

The virus is constantly present with low levels of infection (i.e. endemic) in some tropical areas of Africa and the Americas. This viral presence can amplify into regular epidemics.

Until the start of this century, yellow fever outbreaks also occurred in Europe, the Caribbean islands and Central and North merica.

Even though the virus is not felt to be present in these areas now, they must still be considered at risk for yellow fever epidemics.

Thirty-three countries, with a combined population of 508 million, are at risk in Africa. These lie within a band from 15°N to 10°S of the equator.

In the Americas, yellow fever is endemic in nine South American countries and in several Caribbean islands. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are considered at greatest risk.

There are 200,000 estimated cases of yellow fever (with 30,000 deaths) per year. However, due to underreporting, only a small percentage of these cases are identified. Small numbers of imported cases also occur in countries free of yellow fever. Although yellow fever has never been reported from Asia, this region is at risk because the appropriate primates and mosquitoes are present.

Yellow fever vaccine is safe and highly effective. The protective effect (immunity) occurs within one week in 95% of people vaccinated. A single dose of vaccine provides protection for 10 years and probably for life. Over 300 million doses have been given and serious side effects are extremely rare.

However, recently a few serious adverse outcomes, including deaths, have been reported in Brazil, Australia and the United States.

Scientists are investigating the cause of these adverse events, and monitoring to ensure detection of any similar incidents.

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10. Re: Any injections needed to go to Gambia for 1 week?

Pandachris said it better.

But this is simple and clear now:

Yellow fever vaccination is RECOMMENDED for all travelers to The Gambia, but REQUIRED only when you come from an endemic zone.

But keep in mind that The Gambia lies in an endemic zone.

H.

P.S. Ric´s main source is: www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/

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