Moving to Arusha Tanzania

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Moving to Arusha Tanzania

Post  MPopp on Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:42 am

I know this is a several hour drive from Nairobi, but my husband and I are likely moving there next summer and I am having trouble gathering information!
We will have a one year old and a two month old. They cannot get all of the vaccinations - not to mention the risk of malaria. What is the risk for them for us moving there? For infants that have easy access to a doctor, how serious is malaria?

Essentially, is it safe for them to go?

Also, any ideas on how safe it is for babies to get their vaccines there? (As opposed to waiting until we come back to the U.S. on visits)


ANY info is appreciated!

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Babies in Arusha

Post  Admin on Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:57 pm

Above all, don't worry!! You will be fine!

I have never lived there but visited often and Arusha is a very beautiful place. Between Arusha and Moshi, there is quite a thriving and sizeable expat community - to prove it there is an International School etc. (International School Moshi). I know that your children will be much too young for school but why not check out the school's website anyway, then see if you can email the head or a member of staff to refer you to a good doctor in the area? I am sure that there will be a good doctor who can do vaccinations for your babies and make sure they are following the correct vaccination regime.

Arusha, for many people, is viewed as a real hub of expat life as well as tourism, so to be based there rather than out in the field is a bonus! There are supermarkets, schools, christmas craft fairs and you can even buy a cappucino there!

Re Malaria - I may be wrong, but my impression was that Arusha was not a particularly malarial area? Isn't it too high an altitude?

We lived in the capital of Tanzania Dar es Salaam for 4 years, which is on the coast so definitely a malarial area. We had two babies there (I flew back to UK for delivery but then went back to Dar when they were both only 12 days old) and left to go and live in Nairobi when they were 2 and a half years and four months respectively. None of our family got malaria. In fact, I never heard of a baby in our baby group getting it.

Malaria is serious but once you have educated yourselves on the first signs, (high fever spikes, shivvering etc) then you can go and get a test done very quickly. Diagnosing it is fast - a pin prick blood test and results are ready in ten minutes.

I must admit that while we lived in Dar, we gave our 2 year old a quarter of a tablet of paludrine every day. These days, when we visit coastal areas we dont' bother with profalactics because we know it is quick and easy to get Malaria diagnosed locally and taking anti-malarials can mask symptoms.

I believe very strongly in sleeping under treated nets. The net treatment is so effective that experts say that one treated net hanging in a small house will repel the malaria carrying anopholese (sp?) mosquito from even entering the house at all. You can even make up a net solution and spray it on your curtains, baby carseat nets or window gauzes. The net treatment is not toxic. I was assured that babies can put the treated net in their mouths and even suck on it with no ill effect.

Nowadays you can buy nets already treated, but you can also buy the treatment tablet from most supermarkets and chemists in Dar and Nairobi. The Tanzanian name is 'Ngao' the Kenyan one is 'Power Tab'.

Other tips: Pull nets down round beds by 5pm (when mosquitoes start emerging from their dark hiding places of the day) spray underneath and shut window gauzes at that time too.

For an effective baby friendly mosquito repellent, mix a few drops of citronella oil with baby oil or any other carrier oil.


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Re: Moving to Arusha Tanzania

Post  annedoxia122 on Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:25 pm

According to the WHO, preventing Malaria is as simple as ABCD. This is their prevention outline:

• Be Aware of the malarial risks you face in the country, the symptoms and the incubation period.
• Avoid being Bitten by mosquitoes, especially between dusk and dawn.
• Comply with appropriate prophylactic medication.
• Seek immediate Diagnosis and treatment if you are experiencing a fever one week or more in the country you’ve traveled to.

How should I prepare? Keeping in mind the WHO strategy as outlined above, protecting yourself against malaria is mostly about common sense. Here are some other tips:

• Strategize about what to pack. Since malaria is spread through mosquitoes, you can take simple measures to stop yourself being bitten, such as wearing long-sleeved and trouser-length clothes during the evening and using mosquito repellents and nets.
• If traveling to a high-risk area, prepare yourself accordingly (note that many high-risk areas will have strains of multi-drug resistant malaria so make sure you check with your doctor that you have the correct medication).
• Talk to your doctor openly about the real risks of contracting the disease in your travels. Remember that anti-malarials can be expensive, have nasty side effects and are not 100% effective so make sure you need to be taking them.
• Go to online forums to read about other traveler experiences with malaria-affected countries.

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