Vaccination and Travel Information for Tanzania


 Information current as at:  February 2009 by The D2 Medical centre No1 Fitzwilliam Street Upper Dubliln 2 ph 6314500

Climate: The climate is tropical and coastal areas are hot and humid. Average daytime temperatures 23 º Celsius from June to September and 27 º Celsius from December to March. The rainy season lasts from March to June. Annual rainfall is more than 1000 mm. The central plateau is dry and arid. Annual rainfall 250 mm. The northwestern highlands are cool and temperate and the rainy season here lasts from November to December and February to May. On peaks above 1,500 metres there is a semi temperate climate with permanent snow on the highest peaks.
Capital City: Dodoma
Altitude: 1150 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Tanga, Zanzibar
Population: 31,962,000
Land Area (sq km): 886,040
Currency: 1 Tanzanian shilling = 100 Senti
Languages: Swahili, English, local dialects
Religions: Christian, Muslim, traditional beliefs, Animist, Christian, Muslim
Economy: Cloves, coffee, cotton, rice, sugar, coconuts, Mining, gold, diamonds

The D2 Medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

CHOLERA Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
DIPHTHERIA We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

HEPATITIS 'A' This is the most vaccine preventable disease for travellers. Strongly recommended but not compulsory for travel to this area.

HEPATITIS 'B' Immunisation is strongly recommended for travellers who will be in the area for 1 month or more.
Transmission of Hepatitis B is through sex or contact with contaminated blood, needles and syringes.

MENINGO-COCCAL MENINGITIS There is current significant risk of the disease. Whilst immunisation is not routinely recommended, it is so for travellers to remote or rural regions.

POLIO Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.

RABIES Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be in rural or remote areas for 1 month or more at a time.

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt.

TETANUS We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

TYPHOID FEVER Immunisation is recommended.

YELLOW FEVER A yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 years of age coming from infected areas. Proof of vaccination may be asked for, for travel to the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. The countries and areas included in the endemic zones are considered as infected areas ( see * below ).

* World Health Organization:
The following countries and areas are regarded as Yellow Fever infected areas:

Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan (south of 15°N), Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia.
America: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Malarial Prevention is highly recommended. Malaria, predominately in the malignant ( P. falciparum ) form, is present all year round below. High risk is present throughout the country, including urban areas, the highland areas below 2,000 meters elevation, and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Risk of malaria is increased during and just after the rainy seasons, November through December and March through until May. Risk has also been increasing in high plateau areas, previously considered areas of limited risk.

There are five common medications for malaria prevention available in Ireland. They are: chloroquine, doxycycline, malarone, mefloquine, paludrine. To determine the appropriate antimalarial, it is advised that the traveller discuss this with a D2 medical Travellers Health Specialist or other Travel Health Professional. None of the medicines are 100% effective against the disease at all times, and each has its own side effects. These need to be discussed with the intending traveller.


General Advice on Mosquito Prevention.
Malaria is transmitted by mosquito bite, so recommend all travellers to the country to:

  • cover exposed skin after dusk when they are at most risk for getting bitten
  • use insect repellent with DEET in it.
  • return before dusk from country areas where malarial mosquitoes are the most active
  • sleep in screened room or use a bed net, remembering to tuck in the edges & spray inside.
  • sleep in air conditioned rooms or rooms with fans. Vapour pads and smoke coils also help. Insect buzzers are useless.


Medical facilities are limited, and medicines are often unavailable, even in Dar es Salaam. There are hospitals on Zanzibar that can treat minor ailments. For any major medical problems, including dental work, travellers should consider obtaining medical treatment in Nairobi or South Africa where more advanced medical care is available.

Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The D2 medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.
                                                                                                                                                                DR JOHN J RYAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR


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