Health & Vaccine in Tanzania

Healthcare in Tanzania follows a hierarchical system that is in tandem with the political-hierarchy. Villages in the country are filled with numerous dispensaries while health centers are found at ward level. There is a district hospital at each district and a regional referral hospital at the regional level. Some special hospitals do not fit into this hierarchy and thus are directly linked to the ministry of health. The leading cause of mortality in Tanzania is HIV while other diseases that lead to death are tuberculosis, cancer, heart diseases, malaria and lower respiratory infections amongst various others. By and far, malaria is the biggest threat in Tanzania. In fact, there are a number of tropical diseases visitors can get infected with in Tanzania but most of the risks can be avoided as long as you get the right vaccinations before entering into the country. We personally recommend you seeing your doctor at least 6 weeks before you depart to allow ample time, in case you require vaccination. Besides Malaria, the other dreaded diseases that travelers are at risk while traveling in Tanzania are Ebola and Zika virus transmissions.

Those travelers who wish to visit areas that are infected with Ebola virus must avoid the following:

  • Contact with any blood and body fluids (including sweat, saliva, urine, vomit, breast milk, feces, semen, and vaginal fluids)
  • Items like clothes, bedding or needles of the infected person (which might be contaminated with the person’s body fluid or blood)
  • Attending burial rituals especially of a person who has died from Ebola
  • Contact with bats and non-human primates and their blood or raw meat

Those travelers who wish to visit areas that are infected with Zika virus must take the following measures:

  • Sleep in air-conditioned and well-screened rooms
  • Use a mosquito net while sleeping
  • Cover exposed skin as far as possible by wearing full sleeves at all times
  • Use a mosquito repellant, if you have
  • Use latex condoms
  • Avoid sharing needles and any instrument that may puncture your skin like tattooing or piercing

However, some vaccines are generally recommended for people traveling to Tanzania. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations for traveling in Tanzania:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow fever
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • Polio
  • Measles
  • Mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza

From the above list of vaccinations, the most recommended travel vaccinations for Tanzania are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever and rabies while the others are routine vaccinations

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