Medical preparation for the African trip

There’s a lot of preparation before the trip to Nigeria. Many of them are obviously related to photography, (thinking about concepts, what I’d like to photograph, gather information on where it is to safe to shoot images, and where it’s not advisable at all. Another important step is to find a good and reliable fixer who can help and assist me (translator, driver, someone who has good local connections). I’ve asked around among journalists, photographers, on Lightstalkers and other forums. There are also other preparation steps like vaccinations. There’s only one mandatory vaccination for the Nigerian visa: yellow fever, but there are a few other recommended ones, like typhus abdominalis, tetanus, polio and meningitis. Sounds a bit too much but it’s better to be safe than worry, right? Oh and I forgot to mention malaria. There is no available practical and effective vaccination against malaria yet, but there are different pills to take. There’s the infamous Lariam, which is rarely recommended by doctors anymore, as it can cause pretty nasty side effects. Actually there is a pretty long list of side effects, the worst ones are depression, hallucinations, nightmares, nervousness, skin and join problems, unusual bleeding and vomiting. Undoubtadly, any of these are still better than malaria, which – in severe cases – can progress to coma, or even death. Luckily there are better options than Lariam, like¬†Doxycycline or Malarone and so on.

I’ll write more about the preparations including tips and pieces of advice, things I learn on the way and I’ll also post from Nigeria as soon as I’m there. Stay tuned! ;)

Nigerian visa application form with vaccination booklet

Vaccination for the Nigerian visa