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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #16  
Old 12 Jan 2008
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Naw Jim, you won't catch any flack from anyone on this site. Hell, we all say something totally stupid once in a while. While we are not protecting ourselves from one of the biggest killers in the world, Malaria, let's all go to India and quit eating so we can join the biggest killer in the world: starvation. Really get into it and enjoy the pangs of pain and the sense of delirium that true hunger offers. Then maybe we can go to Thailand and jaywalk and join the 96 people a day killed in traffic. Not a good idea?? We should protect ourselves where and how we can? Well shoot, man, we will miss the experience of joining them. OUr survivors won't have any stories to tell how grandpa took a kayak trip down the Zambia River because he died of Malaria in Ghana. Nonetheless, thanks for your advice about the low risk of Malaria, but I will remain cowardly and take my malaria prevention measures, and because dysentery is also a major killer in Africa wiping out nearly a million people a year who cannot get clean water, I will take my water purifier and use it wherever I can't get bottled water. As a Marine commando I was taught to respect my life and do all I could to preserve it.

But because I see the zest in your attitude I sincerely invite you to come to Oregon and go mountain climbing with me. Oh, you don't get snow goggles, crimpons, pitons, ropes, or gloves. This will allow you to enjoy the true spirit of the mountain.

Joe
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  #17  
Old 12 Jan 2008
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Perhaps I'm just being a naive first world prat, but, to me, arming oneself with anti-malarial meds, clean needles, condoms, anti-bacterial soap, water purifiers, et al is very different to carrying a GPS, a laptop and other sorts of 'kit.'

Look at the average age of death in most African countries. Sure, AIDS accounts for a good bit of those figures -- but malaria's no slouch either, statistically speaking.
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  #18  
Old 12 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim View Post
I know Im going to get flack for this one but there is very little African perspective on this site so here goes:

What is it with you "first worlders" and this paranoia about Africa? Im making a sweeping generalisation here but you guys just love the kit dont you? Water purifiers, GPS, sonic mozzie repellants, tent burglar alarms.... cummon chaps youre coming to Africa for an adventure you not going to the moon! Sure try avoid the bugs and be sensible, but remember there are millions of us living here without water filters and daily DEET baths. Your dont need snake bite kits, you can ask for directions and shit man if you get bitten by a mozzie (which you absolutely will) then smile and deal with it, its part of the experiance man!
Hi Jim,
What do you guys do about this, in Cape Town and when travelling around the rest of Africa?

Those mozzies get everywhere:-

BBC NEWS | Americas | Yellow fever alert alarms Brazil
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  #19  
Old 12 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Hindu1936 View Post
Naw Jim, you won't catch any flack from anyone on this site. Hell, we all say something totally stupid once in a while. While we are not protecting ourselves from one of the biggest killers in the world, Malaria, let's all go to India and quit eating so we can join the biggest killer in the world: starvation. Really get into it and enjoy the pangs of pain and the sense of delirium that true hunger offers. Then maybe we can go to Thailand and jaywalk and join the 96 people a day killed in traffic. Not a good idea?? We should protect ourselves where and how we can? Well shoot, man, we will miss the experience of joining them. OUr survivors won't have any stories to tell how grandpa took a kayak trip down the Zambia River because he died of Malaria in Ghana. Nonetheless, thanks for your advice about the low risk of Malaria, but I will remain cowardly and take my malaria prevention measures, and because dysentery is also a major killer in Africa wiping out nearly a million people a year who cannot get clean water, I will take my water purifier and use it wherever I can't get bottled water. As a Marine commando I was taught to respect my life and do all I could to preserve it.

But because I see the zest in your attitude I sincerely invite you to come to Oregon and go mountain climbing with me. Oh, you don't get snow goggles, crimpons, pitons, ropes, or gloves. This will allow you to enjoy the true spirit of the mountain.

Joe

Ouch!
Im not saying dont take anti malarials, or drink dirty water or do anything that goes against common sense! Im just saying that Africa really is not the dark and dangerous place people seem to expect. Yes there are of course dangers and no its not the French country side, but really there is no need for paranoia. You can travel safely without drinking only bottled water and without freaking out about every mozzie bite you get.

In case nobody picked up the facetious tone of my first post- I was trying to illustrate the fact that Malaria prevention is a very complex issue that requires educated expertise. Its no fun having it and there are many considerations to take into account when going to a Malaria area. In my most humble and uneducated opinion I personally believe in taking medication only when I feel the risk is high. You cannot avoid getting bitten, take the basic precautions (incl medication where applicable) and enjoy your trip.

Joe Id love to come climbing with you! If you come to Cape Town (Where we drink water straight from the taps, scoff at mosquitos and walk around barefoot and in our underpants just for fun) do look me up and we can go for a climb here. I promise to bring ropes and gear- its just common sense!

Jim
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  #20  
Old 12 Jan 2008
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I´m going to agree with you, Jim (quoted below). There´s a mystique about Africa which tends to get a lot of us into an uproar about health issues. Personally, I´ve had far less G.I. problems in Africa (East, South, North, Central and West) than in South Asia, where giardia, amoebas and, yes, malaria are rampant. I´ve also had more problems related to outdated or phony medicines in Nepal and India. This doesn´t mean I take things lightly in Sub-Saharan Africa, however.

For what it´s worth, I also drink the water just as you do....in Cape Town, where I don´t take anti-malarials or worry about dengue either. Your country is a far cry from, say, Burkina Faso or the former Zaire, where I treat my water and pay a lot of attention to mosquitoes. It´s a big continent, with lots of variation in landscape, culture, flora and fauna.

To the poster who said he´d contracted a form of malaria which remains in his blood, it has been my understanding that this is not the way it works, and I´d be interested in some clarification. There are two types (of the four) of falciparum which have a liver stage which is not affected by most medications. These give the recurring bouts for which malaria is sometimes known, when the liver phase of the parasite transitions into the acute phase, with fever, anemia, etc. However, treatment of the liver phase is easily done with Primaquine, an otherwise less-effective medication. I am not aware of any untreatable form, but I am certainly willing to learn.

There are also some people who cannot take Primaquine due to some sort of blood factor, about which I know little. Perhaps you are one of these....?

Happy topic! Hope my contributions help.

Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim View Post
I know Im going to get flack for this one but there is very little African perspective on this site so here goes:

What is it with you "first worlders" and this paranoia about Africa? Im making a sweeping generalisation here but you guys just love the kit dont you? Water purifiers, GPS, sonic mozzie repellants, tent burglar alarms.... cummon chaps youre coming to Africa for an adventure you not going to the moon! Sure try avoid the bugs and be sensible, but remember there are millions of us living here without water filters and daily DEET baths. Your dont need snake bite kits, you can ask for directions and shit man if you get bitten by a mozzie (which you absolutely will) then smile and deal with it, its part of the experiance man!
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