Malaria in Mozambique - should I take malaria tablets?
  • Hi - I am planning a trip to Mozambique, I read that you need to take malaria tablets before going but some people say this is not really necessary and they make you feel ill. I am going to an island off the north coast of Mozambique in the Quirimbas Archipelago which I'm told is malaria free. Not sure whether to take the risk, can anyone advise?
  • Hi-ermm when I went to Egypt I had to take malaria tablets and they didn't make me feel ill at all. I suggest you have an injection if you think that you will feel ill
  • There is no drug that prevents malaria contraction. Drugs like Larium simply mask the symptoms of malaria and reduce the severity of symptoms. However, there are often side-effects, ranging from nauseau to paranoia. Test the drug before you depart. Be warned also that the frequently prescribed doxycyline can make one's skin highly sensitive to sun. My vote is not to take medication, but to step up the preventative measures to avoid getting bitten. Use mozzie coils, repellents, long pants with socks at night, etc.
  • When I went to Kenya on Safari, I took the malaria pills. I had a very had reaction to them and actually hallucinated during the night and woke up the entire Mazai camp. I had no memory of it but thank goodness, some UN nurses were on safari with me and told me that it was the quinine in the pills that causes hallucinations in some...find out before you take them. I would suggest any other method to battle mosquitos though.
  • We´re going to Mozambique this July and decided not to take any malaria pills because of the possible side effects. But we´re going to take any possible care of not being bitten too often...
  • Me too, I'm going to Mozambique in August and decided not to take anything! Take care of not getting bitten and use strong repellents!
  • I'm a tour operator specializing in packages to Mozambique and most countries in East Africa. On the end of the day people make their own choices, but important, MALARIA is MALARIA, if you enter a malaria are you are in risk to get it and the best advice is to visit a travel clinic as they issue malaria tablets according to your medical history.
  • I've travelled quite quite a bit in East Africa and would never go there without taking malaria prophylaxis. I've taken MALARONE on three seperate trips now, and have never had any side effects. They're expensive but you only have to take them for two days before and one week after after your trip. I'm going to Mozambique in November and I'll certainly be taking them again. I've taken Chloroquine when travelling in Central America. You take this just twice a week, and it's very cheap - again I've had no side effects, but I believe that it's no longer effective against the strain of malaria that's prevalent in East Africa. I've heard of side effects from Lariam, including hallucinations and ongoing psychiatric problems, but I've never taken it myself. If you're worried about side-effects, you could try a trial run of the medication before you go away. Of course it's best to avoid being bitten, but you can never be 100% sure - those pesky mosquitoes get everywhere, and I've been bitten despite jungle-strength deet 24/7 and mosquito nets at night. Malaria is a very serious disease which can be life-threatening, so for the sake of popping a few pills, why take chances with your long-term health?
  • Malaria is definately an issue in Mozambique and I would normally take tablets if there for a short time. But some of the offshore islands are mosquito and malaria free, such as Vamizi off the north coast of the country.
  • ok, I have just been to the doctor to get advice on going to Mozambique and whether to take malaria tablets. Unless you go to a specialist all the doctor will do is look up online using the same sites you can use yourself. The malaria risk varies depending where in Mozambique you are going and what the weather has been like and the time of year. Mosquitos (which carry malaria) are less common offshore and particularly where there is no fresh water. After rain the mozzies breed and you are more likely to get bitten. They are also less common when there is a breeze. Malaria is a really serious illness so should be taken seriously particularly for small children or pregnant women. I was given this advice by a seasoned Mozambique holiday maker - take mosquito repellant, and long clothes for the evenings to prevent being bitten. Take malaria tablets (malarone have the least side effects for most people) with you but only start taking them if there are lots of mozzies about. In theory you should start taking them one day before departure and 7 days after leaving. Anyone I hope this helps. I am off to Mozambique on Saturday and cannot wait!
  • Mathieu, if you decide not to take malaria tablets for Mozambique, it's still best to take preventative measures, like those that Jason recommends. Bring long sleeve tops and lightweight pants for the periods during and after sunset, make sure you have a good mosquito repellant and use mosquito nets at night. Also, if you start to feel fluish about two weeks after you return from your trip (malaria has an incubation period of 20 to 30 days - so if you get infected you'll only start to get sick sometime later) go to the doctor and advise you've been in a malaria area. The disease is easily treatable as long as you catch it in due time.
  • Just an update on this. My brother is a regular visitor to Africa (like every month) and has never taken Malaria tablets but after around 30 trips he finally got unlucky and picked up a nasty strain of Malaria - he thinks it was actually in rural Zambia that he picked it up but anyway he will probably be more cautious. I think his main advise to anyone not taking tablets would be to go straight to a good hospital (not a GP) as soon as you feel slightly unwell after returning home. At first he thought he just had a back hangover, but then began to feel like he had flu and he drove straight to London to check in to the University College London (Hospital for Tropical Diseases) where he ended up being for 3 days feeling extremely unwell and feverish. Fortunately he got a strain which doesn't keep coming back. Just note that Malaria does kill people every day to take it seriously!
  • Mathieu is right! I've also travelled to Mozambique without taking malaria tablets, but I would definitely advise taking them for peace of mind, as I ended up being more worried about mosquito bites than I would have liked!
  • If you do not take malaria tablets when visiting Mozambique you are crazy. Mozambique has both cerebral malaria, which kills you within 24 hours and chloroquine resistant malaria. If you get malaria in Moz and get medical attention quickly you will be OK as they know the symptoms and automatically treat one for malaria no matter what. However if after traveling to Moz and then travel to South Africa or other country where malaria is not present and the malaria develops ( incubation period for malaria is 10 days) you have a very high risk of dying and even if you do not die you will probably be in ICU for several days. The reason for this is that the results of the blood tests are not available quickly enough and doctors will not prescribe coartum until they have the results. A quick synopsis of the available tablets

    Larium / methlequione = do not take due to the side effects if you take nothing you may get malaria and die but this stuff will definitely kill you

    Dioxycycline works well cheap and protects against other parasites as well but it is a pain to have to take the pills for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria area.

    Malalin / MALARONE expensive but has the least side effects and only have to take for 7 days after leaving the malaria area. This is what I always take when traveling to a malaria area.
  • I'm planning a holiday to Mozambique and i'm reading about precautions with malaria. I read about the use of Malarone and this is what i found: start 1-2 days before leaving and then take a pill EVERY day of your holiday in malaria area at the same moment, preferably with some food. After your return, take the pills for another 7 days... Quite expensive if you ask me and different in what is said here. Confirmed bij my doctor and farmacist and other information online...
  • Thank you for the info Im also travelling to Moz in 2 weeks. If you say Malarone is expensive, please tell how much? or an estimate

  • Have been to Mozambique recently but didn't have time for medication , came back safely , i think you just do not have to think about that. Anyway if feels like taking, one can to be on a safe side.
  • I disagree, you DEFINITELy need to think about it. You got lucky once. I did as well, but would never do it again. Much better to be safe than sorry.
  • My friend died in Mozambique 2 days ago of cerebral malaria.  We are reeling from the shock.  We're from Cape Town, South Africa and our friends travel to Mozambique often to kite surf.  I am visiting this forum in the help that I can educate people on the risk of malaria - it is fatal.  The loss of our friend Mandy is entirely devastating, she was meant to be home today.  TAKE THE MEDICATION.  Malaria can kill you.
  • I agree with Anne Van above, I have just returned from Mozambique, my first time. Situation now …I am lying flat on my back for last 5 days after 48 hours of hell and constant drips in the hospital. I f you like being run over by a herd of angry buffalos, go ahead and 'do not' medicate yourselves ahead of your trip to Mosquito infested Mozambique. The worst sickness in my life. hectic. Thought i was dying. I stopped my meds half way through as I was feeling terrible and it was interfering with my holiday….'BIG bad mistake'. I just paid the price!
    worst fever you will ever have, body shakes, head aches, no energy, no focus, Drifting in and out of consciousness, terrible nausea, gut pain but most of all, you become a blithering wreck that someone has to bundle in the car to take to clinic. Take heed!!

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