The health concerns in Zanzibar are genuine but this does not mean the island can't be visited. Many people travel to malaria and yellow fever hot spots such as Tanzania, Mozambique, and Kenya and do not contract the diseases. It is however necessary to take precautions in order to ensure your safety.
Zanzibar is situated in a malaria zone and visitors to the island will need to take the necessary precautions. It is advised to go to a doctor and get the appropriate medication and inform him or her if you are planning on diving in Zanzibar as this will affect the medication prescribed.
Spread by mosquitoes, Malaria is a disease that is found in tropical climates and infects the body's red blood cells. Symptoms are similar to flu, and typically include a fever, muscle ache and a headache. Should you develop these symptoms seek medical attention straight away.
Yellow fever is a concern in Zanzibar and visitors are required to have the necessary injections more than 10 days prior to departure, and obtain a valid yellow fever certificate to prove the injections were received.
The yellow fever virus is also spread by mosquitoes, and although many infections can be mild certain infections can potentially be serious. Symptoms include high fever, chills, headaches, muscle ache, and vomiting.
Medical facilities in Zanzibar are limited and it is necessary to take relevant medicines with you. Basic precautions against yellow fever and malaria include: sleeping under a mosquito net, wearing longer clothing in the evenings, and wearing insect repellent. It is advisable to speak to a doctor if you are planning on visiting Zanzibar with children as they are often more sensitive and special pre-cautions must be taken.