Uganda being a tropical country implicates chances of getting malaria whilst on your stay. Fact is the rate of malaria in Uganda was high in the past but has seen a sudden drop lately because of several improvements in the health sector. Despite the reduced malaria prevalence in Uganda, Malaria still remains a big threat especially to citizens who reside in remote areas of villages and fail to make use of of preventive measures like sleeping under mosquito treated nets.
In 2016, a report confirmed that a total number of 658 people from Northern Uganda had perished from this deadly disease with many pending cases of infections. They went further to confirm that between 70,000 to 100,000 succumb to malaria each and every year. The main cause of death is people’s failure to take preventive measures, failure to take medication / afford medication or poor health facilities. The photo below shows the regions / areas with the highest prevalence of malaria in Uganda.
As you can see above, the central region has the highest prevalence rates. It’s even worse in the national parks you visit for safaris because most of them are located in / near forests and water bodies where there are very many mosquitoes.
Malaria Prevention in Uganda
Several preventive measures can be taken to keep you safe from malaria whilst on your safari in Uganda. For foreigners, Malaria Prophylaxis is highly recommended. Always ensure you carry a packet before embarking on your safari irrespective of the price you might get it for. Some foreigners have reported the heavy expenses incurred on acquiring malaria prophylaxis in their respective countries which is not the case in Uganda. Any reputable pharmacy in Uganda should sell you a packet for about $20 – $50 depending on the dosage and the length of your stay in Uganda.
For locals, it’s always advisable to visit the nearest health facility for advice on how you can prevent malaria. Most strategies call for use of mosquito nets, spraying insecticides in houses more often and taking anti-malarial medication at least once every after three or four months.
Treatment of Malaria in Uganda
Unlike the previous years, malaria in Uganda has become way easy to treat since the birth of cheap anti-malaria medications on the market. These tablets will treat malaria in the most effective way within the prescribed days and will also keep you malaria free for a certain period of time. If your safari operator is signed up for a travel insurance package then they should cover this for you freely or perhaps still do the same even in absence of any health / travel insurance.
Like the saying always goes; “Prevention is better than cure”, you should strive so hard to opt for preventive measure before traveling to Uganda. If malaria prophylaxis is expensive in your country then it’s better to explain all this to your tour operator to make purchases for you from here. You can alternatively top up the money for the medication on your total safari booking fee or make payments on your arrival. Malaria is a very strong disease that might ruin your entire safari especially if you are not used to it. However, with preventive medication; you can only focus on your safari without any worries.