I am not a doctor. Neither did I study medicine. Yet, I do have experience which a lot of doctors are missing.
I’m talking about the hands-on experience.
(Just a short note here: whatever I’m writing in this article is based on personal experiences and has no scientific proof)
I have already been quite a few times to Sub-Saharan Africa. Before the first time I went there, I went to a doctor, got tons of injections and vaccinations and was suggested to take certain Malaria pills. I will not mention the name here. Yet, they are probably the most expensive ones out there. I took them with me but decided not to take them, otherwise I would have ended up spending more for malaria pills then for my flight.
This same first time I went to Sub-Saharan Africa, it was Nigeria. Another Austrian girl went to the same city as I did, took malaria pills and got malaria. I didn’t take any and didn’t get any malaria (though I had over 80 mosquito bites!).
Fact behind this: the malaria pills which are recommended in Europe do not have to do anything with (Sub-Saharan) mosquitos. Those animals are different.
Most European doctors have never been to Sub-Saharan Africa. They don’t know the climate. They know what they read in their books or heard somewhere. But they don’t have the real life experience.
You can hear advice in Europe like:
– “Do not wear anything blue as it would attract a certain type of insects.”
– “Do not wear anything black as it attracts mosquitos”
–> Tell that to an African and he will only smile at you.
My advice: If you really want to protect yourself in terms of medicine, go and get it in the respective area where you will be traveling and everything will be alright.
What were your experiences considering taking medicine while traveling?