The 5 most common travel health issues you’ll face in Africa
- Heart Attacks
The most common cause of death in travellers over the age of 40 years is cardiovascular disease.
- Traveller’s Diarrhoea
The most common journey-disrupting illness suffered by travellers irrespective of the style of travel or destination is traveller’s diarrhoea.
The most common cause of death in travellers under the age of 40 is trauma or accidents.
The most life-threatening disease for travellers in Africa is malaria.
Travel medical insurance is of the utmost importance for all travellers — even inside South Africa. Medical care may be substandard in some places, is charged in US dollars everywhere in the rest of Africa, and repatriation back to South Africa, even from neighbouring states, will cost thousands of dollars (consult the AA, your insurance broker, a travel agent or travel clinic about the cover).
Pre-hospital emergency services are rudimentary or non-existent in most areas in Africa. Do not expect speedy or efficient paramedics to rush to you in the event of an emergency. The correct approach to this problem is not to stock an extensive first aid kit but to prevent accidents and injury in the first place by heeding the basic rules to avoid injury.