Before Travelling Abroad to Swaziland Eswatini - Top Tips | Sense Africa

Health

Sense Africa advises you to speak with your Doctor or nurse at your local GP in order to get the best advice for you. We cannot medically advise you as we are not qualified and circumstances in countries may change.

You will need a number of inoculations for travel to Africa and these are dependant on where you go, where you stay and what you do. Please do allow plenty of time to do this as some inoculations are a course of over a few months.

Please do also discuss important travel health issues with your GP such as safe eating and drinking, sun exposure and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken such as keeping sufficiency covered when walking in the bush, regularly drinking clean water and staying in the shade during the heat of the day.

Sense Africa recommends that you visit Masta and Fit For Travel by the NHS for further up to date information.

Immunisations for Swaziland

Courses or boosters usually advised: tetanus; hepatitis A; typhoid. 

Other vaccines to consider: diphtheria; rabies; hepatitis B; cholera. 

Yellow fever vaccination certificate: required from travellers coming from areas with risk of yellow fever transmission.

  • Tetanus is contracted through dirty cuts and scratches. This is a serious infection of the nervous system. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life in the UK. Tetanus vaccine is usually recommended for travellers who will be in a country or situation where the correct treatment of a tetanus prone injury may not be readily available. 
  • Diphtheria is spread by droplet infection through close personal contact. Vaccination is advised if close contact with locals in risk areas is likely.
  • Typhoid and hepatitis A are spread through contaminated food and water. Typhoid causes septicaemia and hepatitis A causes liver inflammation and jaundice. In risk areas you should be immunised if good hygiene is impossible. 
  • Cholera is spread through contaminated water and food. More common during floods and rainy seasons. Those unable to take effective precautions, for example, during wars and when working in refugee camps or slums may consider vaccination. 
  • Hepatitis B is spread through infected blood, contaminated needles and sexual intercourse, It affects the liver, causes jaundice and occasionally liver failure. Vaccination is recommended for those at occupational risk (e.g. health care workers), for long stays or frequent travel to medium and high risk areas, for those more likely to be exposed such as children (from cuts and scratches) and those who may need surgical procedures. 
  • Rabies is spread through bites or licks on broken skin from an infected animal. It is always fatal. Vaccination is advised for those going to risk areas that will be remote from a reliable source of vaccine. Even when pre-exposure vaccines have been received urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal bite. 

Malaria
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease transmitted by mosquitoes. You cannot be vaccinated against malaria.  Malaria precautions are essential. Malaria risk is due to malignant (P.falciparum) throughout the year in low veld areas (mainly Big Bend, Mhlume, Simunye and Tshaneni).

  • Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellents on exposed skin and, when necessary, sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse about suitable antimalarial tablets.
  • Malarone, Atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine is usually recommended for those visiting risk areas.
  • If you have been travelling in a malarious area and develop a fever seek medical attention promptly. Remember malaria can develop even up to one year after exposure.

Schistosomiasis (also known as Bilharzia)
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection that is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water. The parasite enters humans through the skin and prevention is dependant on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams.

Personal Hygiene

  • Always wash your hands before eating
  • Wash your hands before cooking
  • Set up a hand washing station
  • Keep hand gel handy in case you can not wash your hands
  • Wash every day or at least use wet wipes… thoroughly!
  • Keep up to date with your washing
  • Keep your personal items tidy and packed away
  • Wash with biodegradable antibacterial soap.
  • Keep up your standards!

Other things to make life easier:

  • Do not share water bottles
  • Keep your tents closed at all times (prevents uninvited guests!)
  • Do not leave things lying around outside at night
  • Wear shoes at night
  • Know where your torch is!
  • Keep all food surfaces clean and sterilised
  • Look after your important documents such as your passport
  • Check food every day to stop it going off.