anyone in Uganda or has advice about long-term malaria prevention for children?

(12 Posts)
TinaMac Wed 09-Nov-11 16:33:40

Hello - I'm moving to Uganda for five months to do some research. My DP and DD are coming for the whole period, she will have just turned 2 when we arrive. Is anyone there who can tell me a bit about life in Uganda with a small child? We'll be in Kampala for a couple of months and then in the north for about 3 months. Also, more generally, does anyone have advice on malaria prevention medication for children for a period of 5 months? There is a high risk in Uganda, especially outside of Kampala so I'd be really interested to hear how others deal with this.

Thank-you!

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kreecherlivesupstairs Sun 13-Nov-11 07:03:41

No idea about Uganda but we lived in Thailand when DD was small. We didn't have to take drugs, but not getting bitten was the key.
We used repellents daily and made sure the windows were shut all day and night with only the fly screens pulled over when they were open to let the air circulate.

doomedtopoverty Sun 13-Nov-11 10:07:04

Malarone taken daily and its quite bitter but slightly cheaper than Larium.
Larium (Mefloquine) taken once a week, but slightly expensive

You need to pay for the private prescription for Larium or Malarone which aint cheap!

Personally I use Larium. Some friends and family I know they buy some antimalarial from Boots (or any other chemist) which are very cheap but again you need to take everyday. Speak to you travel nurse at GP or/and your local pharmacist. Treated mosquito net is a must!!

complexnumber Sun 13-Nov-11 13:19:43

You don't need me to tell you malaria KILLS, and can do it vey quickly.

Please don't seek advice concerning the health of the most precious thing in your life from an anonymous forum on a website catering for (well meaning) mums.

Please consult professional advice, this is a reasonably good place to start:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan-africa/uganda#health

thanksamillion Sun 13-Nov-11 20:11:40

I don't know, but we use Interhealth for healthcare advise. I would definitely get in touch with them as they are far more used to dealing with people (including children) being overseas for longer stretches than your average travel clinic.

TinaMac Tue 15-Nov-11 09:55:49

Thanks everyone. complexnumber rest assured this is just one of many, many areas I'm seeking, not so much advice, but experience from. Obviously nothing can replace serious medical, professional advice.

thanksamillion thank you very much for that link - I'll look into that.

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FrankieHeck Wed 23-Nov-11 15:52:40

I would probably go for mefloquine as you only need to take it once a week. The other option for children would be Malarone but that is much more expensive.

Have a look at the Health Protection Agency's Guidelines for Malaria Prevention (they discuss children and long term travellers here) and Nathnac insect bite prevention here

If you'll find it difficult to access medical care you might also want to consider taking emergency stand-by treatment (will buy you some time until you can get to hospital) last 2 pages

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QuintesentialShadows Wed 23-Nov-11 15:55:50

We spent 4 months in south india when ds1 was nearly 2. I dont remember what profylactic we were given, but it had to be taken twice a day. He lost his appetite quite badly, the doc said it was due to the anti malaria drugs. He lost a lot of weight, and came back with iron deficient aenemia through not having eaten properly in 4 months.

QuintesentialShadows Wed 23-Nov-11 15:56:45

Will your dc need the bbc vaccine? If so, it needs to be given quite in advance.

QuintesentialShadows Wed 23-Nov-11 15:57:19

hmm I mean bcg of course

Themasterandmargaritas Fri 02-Dec-11 18:10:27

Hi Tina, you'll have a wonderful time in Uganda. We are not far away in Kenya but have also lived in Uganda. Ugandans are incredibly welcoming and Kampala is small but fun. Where will you be in the north?

Malaria prevention is always a thorny issue. There are only two prophylactics that are effective in sub-saharan Africa against falciparum, which is the fatal strain of malaria; Larium and Malarone. Larium is contra indicated in children and pregnant women and people can suffer serious side-effects. There have been no long term studies done on the effect of taking Malarone over an extended period of time. Malarone is also extremely expensive.

What most of us do is ensure maximum malaria prevention. Always sleep under an insecticide treated net, always spray the rooms with insecticide, use repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers dusk onwards.

You can get instant testing kits for when you are away in the field. Always carry an ACT combined therapy medication dose and take it at the first suspicion of having malaria. Be aware of what the symptoms are.

I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

TinaMac Wed 11-Jan-12 16:19:05

I've only just caught up with these messages - thank you so much! master, i have done a tonne of research, spoken to three trop med consultants at different hospitals and one in Kampala as well as other families living there. One doctor who travels frequently to Uganda as well as the doctor based there have advised against the need for prophylaxis in Kampala itself - just maximum prevention in all other areas, as you suggest. Families living in Kampala say the same thing. The north is a different story - plans have changed slightly so that we spend a little less time in north but we could still be in Gulu for as long as six weeks and the consensus then seems to be that larium is the best option for my DD - no reported side effects in children from any of the consultants or families I have spoken to. The side effects are much, much more common in adults apparently. I still feel conflicted about this but the advice I've been given is that attempting to administer a daily dose of malerone to a 2 year old could be extremely difficult and too risky.

master did you live in Uganda with little ones? Thanks so much for the encouraging message - the malaria prevention issue is the biggest worry for me - I'm really excited about everything else.

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