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Health problems when travelling, especially in developing countries, are a major concern for most people and we are no exception. We took quite extensive precautions before leaving, including numerous inoculations, a dental check up, good insurance, malaria prophylactics and the creation of a medical kit that rivals our climbing equipment in both bulk and weight. Looking back it is clear that most of the precautions we took were advisable, however it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that no medical facilities exist in countries like India. This is simply not the case and many of the medicines that we brought from Ireland are readily available at a fraction of the cost.

Below is a table of the vaccinations that we got prior to leaving Ireland. Some of them we had from previous visits to South East Asia. Please note that the table below only tells you what precautions we took and should in no way be considered a substitute for qualified medical advice. Also the prices given for the vaccinations are approximate and will vary according to where you get them.

Disease Description Vaccination Description Cost (in Euros)
Typhoid Water or food borne illness, 3 weeks of intense fever followed by 25% fatality, if untreated. Treatment is by extensive use of antibiotics. 1 injection – gives immunization for 3 years 15
Tetanus Poisoning as a by-product of a common bacillus, which enters the body through a break in the skin. Severity varies greatly. In some cases life support becomes necessary. 1 injection – gives immunization for 10 years 15
Polio Viral encephalitis. 80 % of people make full recovery however can be fatal, can cripple through paralysis. Drop on a sugar cube – gives immunization for 10 years 15
Hepatitis A Inflammation of the liver caused by ingestion of infected water or food. Common but not very severe. Normal treatment is bed rest. If not immunized the correct serum can reduce severity. 2 shots 6 months apart – gives immunization for 10 years 60
Hepatitis B Much more serious than A. Spread through blood products and sexual contact. Can cause permanent liver damage 2 shots 6 months apart – gives immunization for a long time. 60
Japanese Encephalitis Very rare, almost non-existent amongst tourists. Very high fatality rate. 3 shots over a months – gives immunization for a long time. 120
Rabies Viral disease of the central nervous system. Spread through the bite of infectious animals. Incubation period varies from 8 days to 10 months. Almost invariably fatal without immediate treatment. 3 shots over a month – provides very limited protection. The vaccine gives the victim additional time to seek treatment, but urgent medical help is still required. 120
Meningitis A central nervous system infection. It can be caused by virtually any known infectious agent, bacterial organisms producing the most life-threatening infections. 1 shot – provide immunization for 3 years 10
Yellow fever Acute infectious tropical and subtropical disease. It is transmitted through several species of mosquito. Can be fatal. 1 shot – provide immunization for 3 years 20