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Vaccinations for Uganda

Travel Vaccinations > Destinations Advice > Vaccinations for Uganda

Uganda is an incredible country with diverse landscapes, fascinating wildlife and a rich culture comprised of over 50 traditional tribes each with their own language, traditions and history. Home to Africa’s tallest mountain range and the source of the world’s longest river – the Nile – it’s no surprise that Uganda has become a popular destination for trekking, white water rafting and wildlife adventure tours such as experiencing gorillas in their native misty, mountainous habitat.

However, as a destination, Uganda does pose health and safety risks so, it’s important to ensure you have all the relevant vaccinations in plenty of time before you travel.

The travel health information on this page is general advice only and should not be a substitute for professional medical advice. This page is designed to give you informed information about Uganda so that you can start a conversation with a doctor and raise any questions or concerns during that session.

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Before travelling, the first step is to make sure you are up to date with all your childhood immunisations. If you are unsure if whether you are fully up to date or not, your Travel Vaccination Clinic Doctor can arrange any required booster shots. Apart from childhood immunisations, travel to Uganda requires the mandatory Yellow Fever Vaccination, other recommendations may include:

  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Cholera
  • Yellow Fever
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • Influenza

 

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever is a mosquito-borne illness present in South America and Africa including Uganda. The infection ranges from mild to severe and includes symptoms such as; vomiting and nausea, fever, abdominal pain and muscle pain.

This vaccine is recommended for all travelers over 9 months old who is travelling to Uganda.

Aside from the yellow fever vaccination, travelers to Uganda are also advised to take precautions to avoid exposure to mosquitos such as using insect repellant, wearing proper clothing that covers the body and to be aware of peak mosquito hours which are dusk to dawn.

 

Hepatitis A and Typhoid

Heading to a developing country such as Uganda increases your risk of contracting hepatitis A or typhoid due to increased exposure to contaminated food and water. These viruses are highly contagious and can be spread through ice, poor sanitation due to natural disasters of floods, infected food handlers, seafood harvested from contaminated waters and even the ingestion of unpeeled fruits and vegetables.

 

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is chronically present in all of Africa including Uganda. This virus is spread through contact with blood and bodily fluids, often through unprotected sex. Hepatitis B can also be spread through medical or dental procedures, contaminated needles and blood transfusions.

 

Cholera

Uganda is a developing country which includes areas without adequate sewerage systems. This increases your risk of exposure to cholera which is a bacterial infection found in food or water that is contaminated with faeces. There are between 3 and 5 million cholera cases reported each year contributing to an estimated 100,000 deaths worldwide.

Symptoms of cholera include vomiting, cramps, fluid loss, shock, and severe diarrhoea. Symptoms can be mild, however, up to 20 percent of patients will develop severe symptoms which, if left untreated, can lead to death within hours.

The cholera vaccination is administered orally in a single dose and should be taken at least 10 days prior to travelling to Uganda or other cholera-affected regions.

 

Rabies

Rabies is a viral infection spread through the saliva of infected domestic animals such as dogs, cats, monkeys and other mammals. Given the wildlife adventure tours Uganda offers, it does increase your risk of exposure. The majority of human infections occur in Asia and Africa and travelers engaging in hiking, camping, and ecotourism activities are most at risk.

The rabies vaccination consists of 3 shots and is recommended for anyone planning on an extended stay or any work assignments in remote or rural areas particularly in African countries.

 

Meningococcal

Meningococcal disease causes inflammation of the membranes that cover the spinal cord and brain. The disease can be caused by a variety of pathogens including fungi, bacteria, environmental toxins, and reactions to medications.

The meningitis vaccine is recommended for anyone travelling to the ‘meningitis belt’ which includes parts of Uganda.

 

Influenza

Influenza or ‘the flu’ is a contagious disease spread by infected to people to the nose or throat of others. The flu can lead to pneumonia which can be particularly dangerous for people with heart or breathing conditions.

The influenza vaccine can prevent genuine influenza virus but does not stop flu-like symptoms caused by other illnesses. As the influenza virus changes each year, so does the vaccine to compensate for viral shift and ensure effectiveness against the latest strains. Talk to your Travel Vaccination Clinic Doctor to ensure that you have the latest flu shot.

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