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More stabs and shots.

With my upper arms still sore from the stabs on monday, I finally got a message back from CCF this morning.

The CCF mail:

Hi Rob,

There are usually early rains around November / December but mosquitoes are usually not a big problem at CCF. Of course the tropical medical clinics need to advise travellers to take all the precautions available as malaria is a deadly disease but Namibia is not the same as other African countries. The area around CCF is ok. Further north it is advisable to take medication. It is at the end of the day up to you. If you want peace of mind, take the prophylactics but as mentioned above, Namibia is a very dry country and staff usually don’t take anything as it would be impractical to continuously take the medication. Bring a repellent (can also be bought locally in Otjiwarongo) and try not to get bitten in the first place by covering up in the evenings and sleeping under a net (CCF has nets available for volunteers). Namibia is not in a yellow fever zone. However, if you are travelling to Namibia from infected areas or from countries in the endemic zones you will need to show yellow fever certification.

Rabies is another thing volunteers keep asking about. I checked this with our former vet tech a while ago and she told me that the chances of volunteers coming into close contact with a rabid animal are extremely slim. In this area these are usually jackals and kudus and it is very unlikely that you will get close to them, even out in the bush. Treatment is available in Otjiwarongo, which is a 45 minute drive away from CCF.

Hope this answers your questions. I know it’s hard to know what to do on your first trip. I got every jab under the sun when I first came to Namibia but it really is not that dramatic over here. The dry climate has a lot to do with it and also the fact that even though CCF is in a remote place (44 km from town on a gravel road), it has a safe water supply and good hygienic conditions which rule out certain diseases that might crop up in very rural areas.

Well, that puts the mind to rest. I'll take my chances with the rabies shots and the malaria pills. As long as I cover up at night, use a good repellant and sleep under a net, I think I should be fine. Same with diarrhea stuff: hygiene and water are both good and even if I *do* get sick, there'll be regular errand and shopping runs to Otjiwarongo.


Mar. 11th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Oh such a nice letter :) That was great of them to explain so thoroughly. Will you be able to update while in Namibia or will you have to wait until you get back? It would be cool to see real time cheetah-fun (though I guess you can't play with them, huh?), but I can understand if their wi-fi isn't so great ;)
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
I'll try to update while in Namibia, but internet is flakey and slow. I have a blogsite ready for use (in Dutch). Most likely I'll be able to get a few updates in and a pic or two, but the bulk will have to wait until I'm back in NL again.

No playing with cheetahs indeed. There's two ambassador cheetahs (Chewbaaka and Little C.) who've been trained to deal with humans, but I don't think you're actually allowed to touch them. You can take the animal out of the wild, but you can't take the wild out of the animal. Better safe than sorry.
Mar. 11th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'd figure that it was more for the cheetah's sake than for the human's sake that you aren't allowed to touch them. Cheetahs adapt to people scarily well I've heard and if you "tame" them, then release them, then they could go up to a farmer for a friendly pat and instead get buckshot to the face. :/ So since they do rehab and releases there (or so I thought), I can totally understand not being able to play with them.


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