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Johnny
Manhattan Beach

Kenya, Tanzania

Should I take anti-malaria pills?

I keep hearing mixed results.


16 Answers

answered first by
Soraya from New York City

Yes. My sister had Malaria from a week of not taking Malaron in Kenya.  I strongly suggest you do. 


7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Cassandra from Fort Collins

One thing no one has mentioned is that if you do get malari, you can have relapses of it forever.  I first had it in Diani Beach, Kenya in 1992 and have periodic bouts even five years or so. Take the medication, but on a full stomach.


3 thanks


answered by
Sunil from Mountain View

I haven't been to Kenya or any other place where I would be at risk for it, but after seeing one of my friends' mother get a bout of malaria a few months ago, I would take the pills.  Last I heard not too long ago, she's still hospitalized.  Malaria is no joke, so if I'm going to a place where I'd be at more risk for it, I'd definitely do all that I can to prevent it.


4 thanks


answered by
Denise from San Diego

Assuming you won't just be in Nairobi - then yes i would take it! I lived in Tanzaniarecently, which is similar to Kenya, and knew several people who got it. You should go see your doctor to get the best medication for you.

Once you're there, use repellant. But if you take medication, I don't think you necessarily need to use repellent with Deet. I mainly used it in the evenings when the mosquitoes were worse unless I was doing a big outdoor activity. And unless where you're staying is complexly closed off, like in an upscale hotel room, you should sleep with the net on your bed.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tanzania (country)
  2. Kenya (country)
2 thanks


answered by
Joanna from Boston

Your physician will always be best suited to answer this question, but I would always recommend taking anti-malarial tablets if you're traveling to an affected region. I take Malarone, and while it's more expensive than some of the other options, it's often considered the most effective and also has the fewest side effects. I visit Tanzaniaand Kenyaquite frequently and have always taken Malarone and been fortunate to never have any issues.

Medication will always affect people in different ways, so it's important to speak with your physician and consider your different options. With that said, Malaria is a nasty disease and not something you would want to risk contracting so my advice would be to take them!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tanzania (country)
  2. Kenya (country)
2 thanks


answered by
Jonathan from San Francisco

It depends on where in Kenya you are visiting. It's not required in the capital of Nairobi due to its elevation and geographic location but yes for everywhere else in Kenya. 

Additional information from the CDC here.  

I spent 6 months working in Kenya primarily in the capital of Nairobi. When I visited my local travel clinic I was advise that for Nairobi I didn't have to worry about Malaria. 

When I traveled outside of Nairobi I took Malerone which I was told had the least amount of side effects.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nairobi (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Jennifer from Garden Grove

Your miles may vary.

I was just in Tanzania for 1.5 months Oct - Nov 2013. I'm pretty healthy and athletic, but I got bitten by mosquitoes like crazy...my feet and hands were covered in bites. This was when I was in the city and low altitude land. I didn't encounter any problems during Kilimanjaro, or really even the safari portion of my trip. One actually bit me in the palm...perhaps it couldn't find an unbitten exposed spot elsewhere. I soon discovered it was because there was a hole in my mosquito net. Nighttime was when the majority of those bugs would get me.

If I didn't take malaria medicine, I have a fair guess that contracting malaria would definitely have been possible for me. The cure there is $6 USD apparently, and if you're in some kind of city it's likely easy to acquire. You sometimes don't see the symptoms of malaria until a week or so later.

Lots of ex-pats stop taking the pills. I say if you're there for 2 months or less, bring the medicine. If you're fairly non-reactive to most medicines (I don't have any allergic medicine reactions), you'll likely be okay with the pills. I did not have any symptoms after I stopped taking them.

Remember that the anti-malaria is only PREVENTATIVE. So if you decide to take them, don't skip on a day.


Let me know if you have any other questions!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tanzania (country)
2 thanks


answered by
Annemarie from New York City

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rwanda (country)
2 thanks


answered by
Darren

Given the choice between malaria and Malarone... take the pills !  

I took them a few years ago when I was in Tanzania.  

There are a few side effects but they are not severe. Still it's a good idea to start taking them 4 or. 5 days before you leave to build up the levels in your body but also to see how well you tolerate it BEFORE you go. If you have any serious side effects you have easy access to your health care provider.


1 thanks


answered by
Milcah from Nairobi

Yes, especially in a rainy season.


1 thanks


answered by
chethana from Hyderabad

Hey! I think you should keep them on the safe side. I went to Tanzania and Zanzibar didnt need to use them but i kept them with me. A traveler borrowed them off me because he was told it was not required and got malaria. No harm in being prepared.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tanzania (country)
  2. Zanzibar (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Robert from Naivasha

Yes you should. Some areas are malaria free but if you are moving around the country it's a good idea to


1 thanks


answered by
linda from Nairobi

Yes you should. You will hear all sorts of answers but my take is, you have nothing to loose by taking it. Better safe than sorry.




answered by
Mutasa from Kampala

like many countries in Africa ,while travelling its highly advisable to carry anti-malaria pills because of the warm climate




answered by
Yodit from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Yes, good precaution




answered by
Lauren from Ottawa

I wouldn't recommend taking them.  I was in Kenya and Tanzania for two weeks this summer and was taking anti-malaria pills.  When I got back home and stopped taking them, the effects were pretty bad.  I know a lady that's lived in Kenya for 20 years now, and she's never taken them and has only had malaria three times in that span of time.  Based on that, I'd say the chances of actually getting malaria are slim.  Also, based on my experience, my first piece of advice to anyone going to Kenya would be to not go on the pills.  I definitely wouldn't take them again myself!  Hope this helps!  Have a good trip!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kenya (country)
  2. Tanzania (country)
2 thankscomments (2)




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