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| Updated on Jul 14, 2016

A Kenyan health guide

Kenya is the country of contrast and movement. Solidified in the world’s imaginary as a natural paradise for its cinematic and aesthetically matchless landscapes, Kenya has so much more to offer. To fully enjoy your visit to this enigmatic land it is highly advisable to get informed about the mandatory and recommended vaccinations for East Africa (Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus and Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal Meningitis and Rabies.) While some of them are required in order to enter the country, others are strongly recommended by doctors around the world. The effect of these injections lasts for more than 10 years and and they are relatively cheap (US$70) , considering that they prevent potential dangers. You should also consider the use malaria tablets. Yellow fever is a high risk in certain parts of the country, so you need to be vaccinated against it before entering the country. If you come or you have travelled to a country with risk of yellow fever, the government of Kenya will require an official certificate of vaccination before entering the country. Meningitis is a relatively common disease in Kenya, as the country is part of the ‘’meningitis belt’’ of sub-Saharan Africa. If you are travelling to the country during the dry season, you should strongly consider vaccinating a few weeks before your trip, as this disease spreads easier during the December- June semester. The vaccine against rabies is particularly recomended for visitors who are involved in outdoors activities that put them at risk of wild animal bites . Children should always get vaccinated, as they tend to direct their attention to animals and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck. You can obtain more information about vaccinations at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

giraffes kenya Giraffes and birds photographed in Amboseli National Park,Kenya 2013

In order to prevent food or water poisoning, avoid street foods and non bottled water, especially during your first weeks in the country.If you are not feeling well during or after your visit to Kenya, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic. Be sure to tell your doctor about any relevant information about your travels, such as if you were in contact with non domestic animals or you travel to unpopulated areas.

You may also want to bring a minimal first aid kit in order to protect yourself for common incidents. You can include antifungal and antibacterial ointments, antiseptic wound cleanser and aloe based after sun creams, which are used to treat sunburns. Insect bite treatments and bandages are also highly recommended items.

To visit Kenya you are required to have a working visa and a valid passport for more than six months. Single entry Kenya visas for US citizens are typically available on arrival on the country’s three international airports and land crossings with Uganda and Tanzania. Therefore, there is not an official Kenyan application visa. In any case, you are always welcome to contact your nearest diplomatic office to solve any potential question. Although some Kenyan embassies are not allowed to give visas, they will provide you with clear and insightful information regarding your trip to the country.

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