Today I had my final Rabies vaccination. As usual getting an appointment at a time that suits was an issue so it meant a midday appointment and back to work to finish things off before the big trip. What a trooper! I actually consider myself reasonably lucky as I have already had many of the immunisations required for Uganda, leaving me 'only' needing... three Rabies Injections and one Yellow Fever. (I think in total close to 10 injections would have been needed otherwise!)
It did make me think about how lucky we are to live in the UK and what a great job our healthcare professionals in the NHS have done to all but eradicate many of the viruses and diseases some countries still suffer with. Whilst in Uganda there is a risk of (take a breath): Yellow Fever, Rabies, Cholera, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B, Meningitis, Tuberculosis and Malaria! A pretty extensive list. Again its a sign of how important access to clean water and hygiene is; Cholera and Typhoid for example can both caused though drinking contaminated water.
Yellow Fever, also known as the yellow plague is particularly nasty. It is transmitted by female Mosquito and causes 30,000 deaths per year. Thankfully I have had the Yellow Fever vaccination which comes with a certificate as proof of vaccination. Many African countries require you to have the certificate in order to prevent the international spread of the disease. Fortunately the vaccine is highly effective at preventing the virus! I am not taking any chances though, I will definitely be smothering myself in plenty of DEET to keep the mosquito's away.
All that is left to do now is a final check of my packing list and then an attempt to fit it all into the rucksack!