Health care is not free in Swaziland and it is strongly recommended that you obtain comprehensive medical and travel insurance before travelling. Check for any exclusions in your policy and that it covers you for any activities that you wish to participate in. As medical facilities can be quite limited in Swaziland it is also recommended that you have adequate cover for medical evacuation.
As stated previously, there is basic healthcare in Swaziland. For serious accidents and emergencies, better facilities and specialist are available in South Africa. Local private hospitals can arrange evacuation if you have the necessary insurance or funds to pay for this.
There is an increasing shortage of medication, some prescription drugs can be obtained locally or can be imported from South Africa. It is advised if you need medication to bring sufficient quantities of your own.
Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS you should be aware of the dangers from unprotected sex.
Malaria is prevalent in the low veld areas of Swaziland (mainly Big Bend, Mhlume, Simunye and Tshaneni) throughout the year. It has been reported that the Malaria (P. falciparum) is becoming resistant to Chloroquine. You should consult your local health advisor to take the right malaria prevention tablets.
A tropical flat worm, Bilharzia, found in water and which is parasitic in humans, exists in some rivers. Infection can be avoided by not swimming or wading in water in tropical areas where bilharzia is known to occur.
Symptoms largely depend on what type of fluke or flatworm infect you. "Swimmer's itch", where the parasite has entered the skin is often the only symptom. Other signs are muscle pains, diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, coughing, burning when passing urine, passing urine more frequently and blood in the urine.
If left untreated bilharzia may cause life-threatening urinary system or liver damage, bladder tumours and bowel cancer.
If exposure has occurred, seek medical advice. Infestation is treated with medication to kill the parasite.,/p>
Campers and Walkers are at risk from tick bites.
Rabies is a large problem in Africa. You are best avoiding contact with wild animals and stray domestic animals. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals and passed to humans through bites, scratches and broken skin. Rabies can be a fatal disease. If you suspect that you have come in to contact with an infected animal you must seek medical advice straight away, even if you have taken a pre-exposure vaccine.
Drinking water may not be safe, especially in rural areas and you should take good hygiene precautions when washing fruit and vegetables.
It is a country requirement to have yellow fever vaccination certificates if you are travelling from areas with yellow fever transmission.
It is recommended to take the normal vaccinations e.g. hepatitis, polio, diptheria. Your local health advisor should be able to help you.
Remember that many vaccinations and medicines need to be taken in advance of your trip.
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