I have just had my vaccinations for Zambia. I am going with my two brothers in September to take my father’s ashes back to his favourite spot in the world on his last great big adventure. His dying wish was that we take him back to the Victoria Falls where he spent a lot of time as a child and sprinkle him about the place. We are honouring his wishes and looking forward to what is going to be a very emotional journey for the three of us. It is a privilege at our age – with all of our own families to consider to be able to go as a team. We have had support all round – from my brothers’ wives and my mother, in order to find the time and cover to get there and we are excited and emotional about it.
I have had Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Typhoid and malaria pills.
We discussed Rabies and Hepatitis B. Not sure why I was prepared to pay for the expensive rabies jab for my son but not for myself (£140 on NHS). She talked me through the pros and cons. Really not good. “Well, it is fatal you understand and having an injection will buy you another 48 hours to get treatment and you won’t have to have injections into your stomach”. We discussed what might choose to bite me. Rabid dogs mainly. Given that the most likely thing to bite me is a lion – no doubt, equally fatal, I’ve decided to take the risk.
I texted my doctor brother about Hepatitis B. He reassured me (not) by saying “probably too late. Avoid blood transfusions and sleeping with infected men and you shouldn’t really need it”.
I can’t remember what we might need in the way of clothing. Will have to email my African blog friends….I think it was along the lines of nothing bright – lions don’t like that. Long socks to avoid scorpions. Muted shades of neutral colour. Hat. Sunglasses. Boots. Swimming attire? Think not – the nurse gave me a long list of water borne creepy crawlies and another long list of things I should be aware involving ticks, flies, mosquito and lice bites, but for which there are no vaccines:-
African Tick Bite Fever
Rift Valley Fever
Tryanoscomiasis – African
In addition there is also HIV and AIDS to be aware of, Leptospirosis, Schistosomiasis, Brucellosis and good old fashioned travellers Diarrhoea.
ARE THEY TRYING TO PUT US OFF???
Well. It’s not working. I have a sore arm, but I don’t care. It’s just a reminder of the adventure we are about to embark on.