Preparing for our 2 years in Zambia Jamie and I spent time with our local GP to ensure we had the right inoculations and confirmed what medication to bring including basic things like paracetamol, Ibuprofen, antihistamine for allergies and bites, stomach upsets and a wide range of antibiotics and had a visit to our local dentist for a clean and check up.
Off to Coles we went and stocked up on over the counter drugs and then the Pharmacy to purchase our prescription drugs. Between Jamie’s aching knees and my itching eyes and blocked sinus’s we ate our way through quite a lot of what we brought to Zambia.
An unexpected problem we both suffered from terribly for the first 6 months of being in camp was we woke through the night to terrible cramps in our calf muscles. Our calves would be cramped with shooting pain and we would be walking around the house at 2am waiting for the cramps to ease. We spoke to our Osteopath Chris Knee who confirmed it was caused by wearing our Merrill hiking boots for 10 hours a day 6 days a week and over time the pain would stop. Finally they did stop aching though this was a very unexpected problem.
Around camp Jamie would clock his steps on his phone and on average he would walk between 10,000 to 16,000 steps a day and I would walk on average 8,000 to 12,000 per day. No wonder we both had cramps!!! Lucky we brought a big supply of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol as Jamie ate his way through them to ease the pain in his knee. As for me I would sneeze my way around the camp and my eyes would itch, my nose tingles inside and I have a very dry throat which are all related to suffering allergies to the plants around Mfuwe. With a steady flow of anti allergy drugs from Australia I was able to get on top of the problem.
Another crazy one was the wind burn I suffered at the end of the dry season in September. It started with a cracked lip from escorting so many guests to the Mfuwe Day School on our village visit in an open safari vehicle. Sadly the skin around my lips and nose became so angry and red that it developed into eczema. After 3 rounds of antibiotics and a lot of support from the Doc and friends in the valley it finally healed.
So between Jamie’s hernia popping out from picking up heavy luggage for guests through to deep root canal on a tooth at the dentist in Mfuwe and Wendy’s extreme allergies and a wide variety of infections we are surviving. In summary when you live in such a remote third world country, shake hands with 100’s of guests who have travelled from all over the world, work 6 days a week and long hours, have extreme weather with no rain from late April to mid November we are susceptible to all sorts of health problems.
All my research and purchasing on each trip back to Australia ensures we have a good supply of drugs in our home and thank goodness for Coles Panadol and Nurofen!
There is a real threat of Malaria in the area and due to being here so long we are unable to take anti malaria medication. We sleep under nets, keep our house closed up and spray with Peaceful Sleep the local brand of insect repellent. As of Oct 7, 2017 we have been here 20 months and malaria free YEH!!. We are hoping luck is on our side and we depart camp January 17, 2018 malaria free – fingers and toes crossed xxxxxxxxxxx