HEALTH AND VACCINATION INFORMATION
YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION
International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever is required upon arrival from ALL COUNTRIES if the traveler is more than 1 year of age.
Malaria exists throughout the year in all areas including urban areas. Resistance to Chloroquine is confirmed.
Cholera is reported in areas of the country
Further information regarding Yellow Fever Vaccination, may be obtained by calling 1-800-VACCINE or the U.S. Department of Health Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) International Traveler's Hotline at (404) 332-4559 or the CDC Fax Information Service at (888) 232-3299. Information may also be obtained from travel medicine specialists and/or a local or state Department of Health clinic.
For all health requirements and recommendations travelers should check with a local Department of Health clinic or U.S Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Further information may be obtained from the CDC Web Site for this Region.
For those who would like a form for Vaccination Exemption, a sample form can be obtained here:
:: 919.231.2109 ::
Want to know more? Check out the following article by AriEl Yahzid of Info-Ghana.com!
Health concerns serve as the greatest deterrent for most traveling to Africa. Priority on your list should be your family’s health, but with sufficient information, the fears should be replaced with preventive measures. Having survived the onslaught of malaria, typhoid, meningitis, tetanus, whopping cough, cholera, and yellow fever, to name a few, I am in a position to share the challenges to ones health that should be considered. Many will probably read the previous sentence and withdraw their application from the Ghanaian Embassy for visa, but don’t bother. The fact of the matter is that there exists an overwhelming presence of life threatening diseases within the West African region and throughout the continent, for that matter. Deadly though they might be, they are not quite as dangerous as the lab created Ebola virus or A.I.D.S., but they do serve the same purpose, population control. While it is not my intention to deal with the sick minds of the likes of W.H.O. (world health organization) and the governments that allow these agents of death into our states to inject babies, it is relevant to make one overstand all the reasons why so many diseases are present and give one the complete arsenal to deal with the threats.
W.H.O. Benefits from Disease?
In the new world, the biggest threat is weapons of mass destruction where chemical warfare is feared to be greatest danger. In Africa we are plagued with germ warfare, where, in an attempt to retard the growth population and to decrease the competition for our own minerals we are being eliminated at alarming rates through various diseases. As usual, the effects can be seen to take their greatest toll on the poorest stratosphere of society, those whose health cannot be factored into their budget. Those, also, who are subjected to the conditions that give rise to the diseases and whose education never included better living for a better life. Children in the furthest extremes of the villages have been taught to speak English, but simple matters of hygiene have been left out of the curriculum at the expense of the communities’ health and progress. The method and means of employing the various diseases to act as biological agents is similar to method and means of turning a rich country into a poor one, it is the implementation of policy that would never be used within the borders of the 'first world' to solve any of their problems. For example, the high content of chemical pesticide and fertilizer proposed for growing our crops can only lead to the depleting of the plants’ nutrients and hormonal dysfunctions from the consumer of such a plant. The allowed use of sewer water for the watering of fruits and vegetables to be sold on the market is also guaranteed to have negative effects on the health of its consumer. Not to mention the permitted emissions from the vehicles that reveal another passive policy that is claiming millions of lungs and decreasing life sentences. When we consider that malaria, once prevalent in the U.S., can be eradicated and Ebola, A.I.D.S., and a slew of others were all manufactured in labs, then released on African communities at will, in the form of vaccinations or other disguises, then we are forced to acknowledge that our enemy isn’t just the disease, but also the ones propagating the diseases. This information will put one in the frame of mind for defending one’s self against an invisible enemy or blatant denial against the obvious. Either being the case, the truth will affect all of our realities whether we believe it or not. Bob said, “It doesn’t rain on one man’s housetop”.
That being said lets deal with the threat of so many diseases and how we might simply protect ourselves. The most common threat is malaria. You can catch malaria from a mosquito bite, which sends the virus through your blood stream into your liver where it interacts with another such viral agent to produce malaria. Its symptoms are usually high fever; coupled with diarrhea, vomiting, joint aches and overall ill health. In worst-case scenarios, weight is lost, dehydration occurs and sometimes the virus can enter the brain, causing cerebral malaria. Most people travelling for short periods of time opt to take pills that must be taken approximately once a week starting 2 weeks prior to arrival and ending 2 weeks after departure. These pills are mostly effective, although, being drugs, they have several adverse effects on the body, depending on one’s reaction to the drug. Typical side effects include nausea and dizziness. If your structure is strong and you are not against taking drugs then this is a suitable option. The only problem is that when taken it tends to give those taking it a false sense of security, causing them to be more careless in dealing with protecting themselves from the mosquito.
Malaria Prevention and cure
The mosquito is constantly evolving and should never be considered a defeated enemy. Every precaution should be taken and the precautions are simple. The mosquito comes out mostly in the evening about 5:00 p.m., and sticks around until the next day, 7:00 a.m. The first thing a person should do is put on long pants, long skirt, or long dress in the evening hours. Second, apply repellent (citronella is the best natural repellent) to exposed areas of the body (feet and ankles are their favorite spots). Third, a mosquito net should be worn every night. Simple as they might sound, those measures are one’s best protection against malaria. For those who don’t wish to take any drugs we suggest drinking the Nim tea. Nim tea is made from the leaves and branches of the Nim tree found just about anywhere in Ghana and all over Accra. This tea acts as a detergent for the liver, washing it out so that the malaria parasites don’t have an opportunity to reproduce themselves within your liver and develop into malaria. It is the bitterest tea you will ever take (Sugar and herb teas really don’t mix, but you can allow the tea to cool then add honey and lime to balance the taste.), but it only needs to be taken once a week and it is quite effective along with the other measures mentioned. This is usually the choice of those who have come to reside in Ghana, however, no one escapes their date with malaria, it will come and you will face it if you plan on spending any extended time in Ghana. As a matter of fact, that goes the same for all diseases. This is very important to overstand; it goes to show the beauty of our structure and how well God made us. Malaria, like most other diseases, has its worst effects when it is initially contracted. The worst experiences come from those of us that have never had previous exposure to such a virus. Our antibodies are not prepared to deal with such an attack and therefore almost retreat in the face of such an enemy. This is when people will speak of life threatening experiences. It is most scary in infants, because they can’t speak their problem and it is usually noticed only after they are very sick, but there are reliable cures. Number one, two and three is Artesunate. This is a Chinese herbal that is used to cure malaria. I tell people to buy it upon arrival and keep it just in case (cost $5). Take some home as well, just in case you catch it after you have left the scene, which can happen up to 3 months after leaving. With Artesunate, one will be able to minimize the effects and abort severe cases of malaria. The longest one can expect malaria to remain in the system will be 5 days from the time one starts taking the medicine. There are several other drugs, none of which I recommend, none of which work as well and all of which have terrible side effects. The beauty, if such a thing can be derived from such an experience, of catching malaria, like coming into contact with any of the mentioned diseases, is that your body is put on notice. With a proper diet that supports your immune system to do what it does best, you will find a growing resistance against all such viruses. (No surprises, considering they found prostitutes in Kenya have become immune to A.I.D.S. Makes you wonder what they will come up with next.) With malaria, you will become very acute to its symptoms and attack it in its early stages, allowing it the chance to live a very short life and have minimal effect on your body. This usually parallels to a flu like experience and can be called acclimatization of your system.
Typhoid is very different, in that it doesn’t hunt you, you hunt it. Typhoid is usually contracted from getting unclean food or water. The best prevention is stay in control of your foods and water. If you are not cooking your own foods, try hard to make sure the restaurant has proper standards and never buy from street vendors. There is a starch difference in definitions of clean. Buy water from a reliable company, don’t drink the tap water.
Preventing Typhoid Fever: A Guide for Travellers
Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. In the United States, about 400 cases occur each year, and 70% of these are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 12.5 million persons each year.
Typhoid fever can be prevented and can usually be treated with antibiotics. If you are planning to travel outside the United States, you should know about typhoid fever and what steps you can take to protect yourself.
How is typhoid fever spread?
Salmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers , recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S. typhi in their feces (stool).
You can get typhoid fever if you eat food or drink beverages that have been handled by a person who is shedding S. typhi or if sewage contaminated with S. typhi bacteria gets into the water you use for drinking or washing food. Therefore, typhoid fever is more common in areas of the world where handwashing is less frequent and water is likely to be contaminated with sewage.
Once S. typhi bacteria are eaten or drunk, they multiply and spread into the bloodstream. The body reacts with fever and other signs and symptoms.
Where in the world do you get typhoid fever?
Typhoid fever is common in most parts of the world except in industrialized regions such as the United States, Canada, western Europe, Australia, and Japan. Therefore, if you are traveling to the developing world, you should consider taking precautions. Over the past 10 years, travelers from the United States to Asia, Africa, and Latin America have been especially at risk.
How can you avoid typhoid fever?
Two basic actions can protect you from typhoid fever:
· Avoid risky foods and drinks.
· Get vaccinated against typhoid fever.
It may surprise you, but watching what you eat and drink when you travel is as important as being vaccinated. This is because the vaccines are not completely effective. Avoiding risky foods will also help protect you from other illnesses, including travelers' diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis A.
"Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it"
· If you drink water, buy it bottled or bring it to a rolling boil for 1 minute before you drink it. Bottled carbonated water is safer than uncarbonated water.
· Ask for drinks without ice unless the ice is made from bottled or boiled water. Avoid popsicles and flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water.
· Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and that are still hot and steaming.
· Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled. Vegetables like lettuce are easily contaminated and are very hard to wash well.
· When you eat raw fruit or vegetables that can be peeled, peel them yourself. (Wash your hands with soap first.) Do not eat the peelings.
· Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors. It is difficult for food to be kept clean on the street, and many travellers get sick from food bought from street vendors.
Malaria, typhoid, meningitis, cholera, and yellow fever are all prevalent in the atmosphere. An analysis of one of my cells revealed that I have come in contact with all of the mentioned diseases, though I lead a very healthy life. It is virtually inevitable that you will come into contact with these diseases, no different than you would be affected by the subliminal messages propagated through the television, even if you only watched the news. The only thing to do is to keep your immune system strong so that it can produce the necessary antibodies to fight against the various diseases. These antibodies act as natural vaccinations and enable you to develop a resistance against even the most deadly of diseases. Your main concern is to eat right and get proper sleep. During the first year or two in Ghana, one is bound to meet health challenges, but they should be met with vigilance and determination, as should everything else. Children might seem to get it the worst, in part because we never like to see our children suffer. I brought two infants, both of whom caught malaria in their initial stages and kept I on my toes, looking after their health, however, they are now veterans and get sick so infrequently it is not worth mentioning. Their resistance seems better than ours as adults, as they have less in their system that might delay the normal process of protecting itself from disease. After your initiation is over you will emerge a much stronger person and your body, a firmer structure.