“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Friday, 17 December 2010

34 days to go - visit to the doctors

I took my vaccination record into the doctors this morning with the following list from the Kenyan website;

1) Hepatitis A : Recommended for all travellers
2) Typhoid : Recommended for all travellers
3) Yellow fever : Recommended for all travellers greater than nine months of age
4) Polio : One-time booster recommended for any adult traveler who completed the childhood series but never had polio vaccine as an adult
5) Hepatitis B : Recommended for all travellers
6) Rabies : For travellers spending a lot of time outdoors, or at high risk for animal bites, or involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats
7) Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) : Two doses recommended for all travellers born after 1956, if not previously given
8) Tetanus-diphtheria : Revaccination recommended every 10 years

My Hep A and Hep B are both up to date as is my MMR, Polio and Tetanus-Diptheria. My yellow-fever cerficate is also still valid for another 2 years which was good news. However, my Typhoid was due for renewal. You'd think someone who can raft grade 5 white water, throw herself off the Sky Tower and handle close encounters with dangerous predators would not bat an eyelid at needles wouldn't you? Unfortunately I am a complete wuss with anything related to the human body. I have to lie down and, through bitten lip, pant as if I am about to give birth - not a good look.
I have never had a Rabies jab, so the next question was - should I? It's £48 per injection and three injections are required prior to travel, so the first injection would have to be given before Christmas. Some sources say 'highly recommended' and others say 'only required if working with animals'. So does wildlife photography count or not? I will be outside for the majority of my time in Kenya, but I have no intention of getting within biting range of anything (although I hear the monkeys have no concept of personal space at all). I have the weekend to decide at least. The biggest concern the doc pointed out is how far from medical help I could be at the time of infection. Apparently if they can get a drug injected into the bite site within a certain period of time, then there is nothing to worry about!!! nice.

I also ordered some Malarone (anti-malaria drugs) which I need to start taking 2 days before I leave and continue for a week upon return. At £3 per tablet from the surgery dispensary they are much cheaper than the Larium I was taking when I contracted Malaria in 1995, but the nurse still advised me to shop around as some chemist will sell them for £2.50 each.

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