Are you thinking about joining a trip with VIP to Malawi? You may be feeling called to join; however, questions are filling your mind from logistics of travel to the culture. Friendship and Medical Trips allow us to come along side our brothers and sister in Malawi to develop lasting connections and provide healthcare to the most vulnerable. This country is faced with extreme poverty and our presence is deeply appreciated, life-changing, and transformative. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing these topics and answering questions you may be asking yourself. Our first topic is your health and steps you’ll need to take before taking your trip.
How do I start preparing?
Your health while in Malawi is important and we’re sure that if you follow these steps you’ll greatly reduce any risk during your time there. After signing up for a trip, we recommend you start gathering your past medical history of vaccinations to evaluate what you’ve already been treated for. Once you have this information, schedule an appointment with your health-care provider at least 4 – 6 weeks before your trip. This time frame will allow your vaccines to take full effect before arriving to Malawi.
What vaccinations do I need exactly?
First, make sure you are completely up to date with routine shots including the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine and the poliovirus vaccine. Once you confirmed you’re caught up with these shots, speak to your health-care provider to see if you were vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Typhoid. If not, these three vaccinations are recommended for this trip and are all given in shot form. You may need to see a Travel Health Clinic since many doctor offices do not carry the vaccine for Typhoid.
Do I need to take Anti-Malaria treatment?
Yes, Malaria medication is a must for travel in Malawi. Typically, health-care providers recommend that you start taking the medication prior to your arrival to ensure its effectiveness. When speaking to your doctor, be sure to tell them that you will be spending time in the sun since some malaria medications can cause your skin to become sensitive to the sun. Anti-Malaria treatment usually comes in pill form and can be taken orally, this is not given as a shot.