Medication & Vaccinations

There are 4 main areas we will concentrating on in our preparation for all things medical.

  1. First aid course
  2. Medical kit
  3. Vaccinations
  4. Malaria medicine

First aid course

We will be doing an exepedition first aid course  with a company called Adventure First Aid.

The course covers:

  • Recognition and monitoring of vital signs
  • Incident management - scene and casualty assessment
  • Management of the unconscious casualty
  • Control of external bleeding
  • Recognition and management of shock
  • CPR and blocked airway resuscitation
  • Sprains, strains, fractures and dislocations
  • Improvised splinting
  • Head injuries and helmet removal issues
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Chest, abdomen, pelvis and thigh injuries
  • Burns
  • Common medical emergencies
  • Bugs, bites and stings
  • Hypo + Hyper thermia
  • 4 + hours of outdoor incident management scenarios
  • Remote improvised techniques
  • Casualty handling (safe lifting & moving)
  • Casualty handover
  • First Aid Kits
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Bites and stings
  • Common overseas illness
  • Bowel disorders
  • Rehydration
  • Vehicle incidents
  • Crisis management planning
  • Expedition First Aid kits
  • Casualty evacuation
  • Remote medical help
  • Communication options
  • Helicopter rescue
It will be tailored to the terrain we will be encountering, and teach improvised techniques taking into account our surroundings.

Medical Kit

We will be taking a comprehensive medical kit which will allow us to treat basic health problems that arise during our travels.

  • Paracetamol
  • Strong painkillers (analgesics)
  • Anti-malarials
  • Antacids
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets (Loperamide 2mg)
  • Laxatives
  • Anti-histamines
  • Rehydration powders
  • Broad Spectrum Antibiotics (eg amoxicillin 500mg)
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Latex gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Sterile syringe set. Two hypodermic needles per person
  • Sterile dressings, plasters, bandage
  • Alcohol wipes ("Sterets")
  • Superglue
  • Antiseptic Cream
  • Durapore tape
  • Safety pins
  • Thermometer
  • Savlon antiseptic concentrate
  • Steristrips
  • Insect repellent

In the event of a more serious problem we will rely on our travel insurance to make us right! We will be using the Premier Blue Policy from STA Travel, which covers, amongst other things, search and resuce and repatriation, which we decided were features we'd like to have.


Some vaccinations are provided free of charge by the NHS. Others that are necessary for travel in Africa are not, so we will have to pay for those.

There are a million and one vaccinations that you can be recommended to take for travel in Africa. However, not all of them are necesary, and some of them aren't even effective, so do your research! There is a great "Search by Country" tool on the 1st Contact website which you can use to work out what's needed.

  • Yello Fever (mandatory for travel in infected areas in Africa)
  • Hepatitus A
  • Hepatitus B
  • Rabies
  • Typhoid
  • Diptheria 
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • Tick borne Encephalitis
  • Cholera
  • Tuberculosis
  • Measels

We will be having the following vaccinations:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Rabies
  • Hepatitus A
  • Typhoid
  • Diptheria, Tetanus and Polio (Revaxis, combined vaccination)
  • Meningitis


There are 3 main malaria medications which are recommended for travel in Africa.

  • Malarone
  • Mefloquine (Lariam)
  • Doxycycline

Malarone is regarded the best, but is also the most expensive. It has virtually no side-effects. If you can afford it, this is the one you want to go for.

Mefloquine has been known to cause terrible side-effects, such as depression, nausea and blindness. Everyone I've spoken to says stay away!

Doxycycline is an antibiotic, and can cause photosensitivity in some people. It is the cheapest of these three treatments. We will be using doxycycline during our time in Africa.


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