First Step: Vaccination! Second Step... What about Malaria?

The first step after knowing the countries we will be visiting is to take the necessary vaccination. Here in Belgium the best place to go for all these vaccines is the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp.

Here we go!

So! what are the needed vaccinations for South Asia and South American Countries:

-Yellow Fever
-Tetanus and Diphtheria
-Typhoid Fever
-Rabies (3 vaccines)
-Japanese Encephalitis (2 vaccines)
-Hepatitis A

Both of us looking very excited to be pumped with vaccines :P

Ahhh... and this was the last one! for this now! We still need to come back in one month to take the second shot for Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis and Hepatitis A!

So what were the shots we had this time,

On top of these shots we got a lot of informative papers regarding diseases in the countries we will be visiting! so a lot to read for the next days :P

There is still diseases as Malaria that do not have a vaccine :(
The question we need to answer is how are we going to tackle Malaria! are we doing to do prevention or we take with us emergency treatment?

The factors to take in to consideration for this decision are:

-We will be almost 12 months in countries that have some regions where Malaria is present.

-A country in which there is Malaria doesn't mean there is a risk in every single region is just in some of them and when you go to the jungle.

-The best medicine available: Malarone is extremely expensive.. a box of 12 pills costs 43.31€. We need to take these pills every single day when we are in a high risk area and 7 days after we leave the area! If you do the math is quite expensive $$$$$

-The second option are the Lariam pills, these are a bit less expensive.. but have a huge draw back... secondary effects are: anxiety, hallucinations, depression, unusual behavior , and suicidal ideations among others.. not very appealing!

-What about prevention?... during the night we need to sleep with mosquito impregnated nets and early in the morning we need to wear long sleeves and pants and spray a lot of DEET anti mosquito. In case we have any high fever we need to treat it as it would be Malaria and start taking Malarone pills as well as go to a Hospital to get checked up.

Even if you proactively take the medicine while in a Malaria high risk area and you get it... you still need to go immediately to a hospital to get treatment.. But in this case they can give you higher doses of medication since you already were taking Malaria pills....

So the question is what should be do!! If you have some tips and advices please we would love to hear it :)


  1. Buy Malaria pills...two words, black market.

  2. Since I'm a Gin Tonic Lover, I heard a lot of times that the british people has started to drink a lot of Gin Tonic in places where the Malaria is present. It seems to be a good preventive measure for malaria. At least, it tastes good. :)

  3. Mosquito repellants! Easy to use, easy to carry and easy to purchase! I personally go for two levels: 1. the cream (with SPF 15) and 2. the citronella patch. You can find both in any pharmacy.

    *waves from Cisco Singapore*

  4. Thank you very much for your tips and advices :)

    We will definitely try the Gin Tonic method but with some DEET and Citronella, just in case :))

  5. Just got your email that you are coming to China in September!
    & Bog congratulation to your graduation & superb LOVE :)

    This is jeswu from Cisco~

  6. Hi Jeswu! we are looking forward for our trip in China :)) Thank you for your wishes and kind words!

    Juana & Antonio

  7. The best anti-malaria drug is not Malarone, they are those based on artemisinin-derivatives (f.e. Artenam). They are much cheaper than Malarone and have far less side effects than Lariam.
    I can easily buy them in pharmacies when I go to West-Africa and I would expect you can easily get them in Asia as well as I've noticed many originate from there in the fist place. I would suggest you buy some locally and keep them to be used as treatment only and only in the event that you are days away from access to a hospital. If you do have access to a hospital and are sick (and suspect malaria), don't start taking the drugs proactively, but just go to the hospital for checkup. They have much more experience in treating malaria then they have here.
    If you desire additional protection by taking prophylaxis, I would recommend to go for the chloroquin/paludrine combo even though you're probably passing through areas where there is resistance against it.
    I would recommend you read up on this page: Even though it is written for Uganda, I'm sure al lot of if applies to other malaria endemic areas and it's one of the few resources that seems to be written by experienced people. Don't take malaria lightly, but don't be overly afraid of it either. Simply go to the hospital when you are sick. Use your common sense and I'm sure you'll be fine. Have a safe journey!

  8. Dirk :) thank you for your suggestions! it really helped clear our doubts regarding how to handle Malaria :))
    we are more inclined for treatment rather then proactive protection as will not be all the time in high risk areas.


Thank you for your comment and support :)