Although travel to South Africa is in most cases very first world, any adventure to more rural or tribal areas does come with a measure of a health risk! Cholera occurs in South Africa but it is not a standard immunisation for South African citizens. Hepatitis A & B and TB infections are rather common within the poorer local communities of South Africa and outbursts of rabies within animals also occur. Travelers to infected areas should consider immunisation.
Many of the immunisations below are only recommended for those venturing deeper into rural areas or Africa.
Cholera: Cholera is an uncommon disease in travellers and the injectable vaccine is Immunisation with the old injected vaccine against cholera is not considered appropriate for most travellers, although, where it is known that border officials may demand a cholera certificate, it is wiser to be in possession of such a certificate prior to departure. The newer oral cholera vaccine does provide significant protection against cholera, and is well tolerated
Hepatitis A: Short term protection against this water-borne viral disease is offered by a single injection. A vaccine is now available which provides protection for ten years and is suitable for the frequent traveller.
Polio: This vaccine is given orally, usually on a lump of sugar, and is a simple and safe protection against poliomyelitis which is still prevalent in some tropical and developing countries.
Tetanus: All travellers should be in date for tetanus immunisation as the disease is spread throughout the world and is potentially a hazard to life. A booster dose is given as a single injection.
Typhoid: Typhoid is a disease contracted from contaminated food and water which leads to high fever and septicemia. Immunisation is usually advised for those going to areas where the standards of food and water hygiene are lower than South Africa .
These immunizations are not always necessary. The best advice we can offer is to visit your doctor, a month or so before you travel. They will be able to give you any necessary boosters or pills.
We strongly advise that you take out comprehensive travel/medical Insurance before you leave your home country, for the duration of your trip to South Africa .
If you are traveling to South Africa for the Soccer World Cup in 2010, comprehensive travel insurance is going to be 100% necessary. The public hospitals are good but often overcrowded and, in some cases, not up to the standard of European state hospitals.
Private hospitals are also widely available, equipped with modern technology and highly qualified specialists and medical staff; but these obviously have to be paid for at a higher price and a lack of sufficient travel insurance could leave you with a hefty bill after your stay in South Africa.
There wil also be medical units with ample first-aid facilities to meet the needs of the visitors to the stadiums proposed for the 2010 World Cup.
A major health issue in South Africa is AIDS / HIV, an estimated 20% of the entire population is infected with the disease, although the actual figure could be far higher. Health programs are underway and the South African government has undertaken the imense task to try and eradicate the disease in the future. But miseducation of the countries people is leading to increased figures each year.