It is vital that every participant visits their doctor or travel clinic at least 2 months prior to departure in order to get the latest advice on vaccinations and medications for the region. Some people are not able to have certain injections, so we cannot give blanket advice over which vaccinations you need. It is also worth checking the Travel Health Pro website or the Centres for Disease Control for up to date advice. This advice is based primarily on UK government guidance, and if local advice is preferred this should be sought separately.
Everybody must see a doctor or travel nurse to get official advice on which vaccinations are necessary.
Rabies: Your health professional may ask you whether you will be at an increased risk of rabies. It is not compulsory to get the rabies vaccinations as you will not be handling mammals and we have protocols in place to ensure that in the very unlikely event that you were bitten by a potential rabies vector, appropriate treatment could be given within a suitable timeframe. The only exception to this are those doing a dissertation on bats, who we require to be vaccinated.
Yellow Fever: The yellow fever vaccination is currently advised for travel to the area that we are working in. Click here for the World Health Organisation’s advice on yellow fever vaccination requirements for international travellers to any country. Further information on registered yellow fever vaccination centres in the UK can be found here and for the United States can be found here.
Malaria and Dengue are both present so it is likely that your health professional will recommend you take malaria prophylactics. There are no prophylactics available to protect against Dengue. The best form of protection against both diseases is to prevent mosquito bites as much as possible. You can do this by wearing long sleeved clothing, particularly in the mornings and evenings, and by having a good insect repellent (see kit list for repellent advice).
Zika is also present. As with dengue there is no prophylaxis available and so the best way of reducing risk is to cover up to protect yourself against mosquito bite. Zika can be carried asymptomatically and passed on through sexual contact, and there is a small risk that it can cause serious problems during pregnancy. As such the current advice is to avoid unprotected sex for a period of 6 months following travel.
HIV/Aids and Hepatitis B are present in some form in each country that Operation Wallacea operates in, but there is no reason why this should present a problem providing you always act responsibly and practice safe sex.
There is a Hepatitis B vaccine available, as with all other vaccines follow the advice given by your medical professional regarding receiving it.
The effectiveness of the contraceptive pill is compromised in the instance of sickness, diarrhoea and whilst taking antibiotics so please bring alternative methods of contraception, even if you are travelling with your partner.