Thanks everyone for your opinions, knowledge and experiences... honestly, this is all happening so fast and you may wonder why on earth I am still here researching this... well I haven't even had time to look up any info as I have been only keeping one nostril above water getting everything gatherd for the homestudy, traveling to appointments, talking with the agency, talking with people in Rwanda, getting fundraisers going, looking into lactation etc all on top of everything else I normally do. I just haven't gotten to a comfortable spot knowledge-wise yet with these issues.
I am about to make an appointment tomorrow with the clinic so I gotta decide. So much to sort out- what is the real risk of contracting these diseases? Can I contract them anyway even with the vax? Even if I get the vax, will it have enough time to produce antibodies prior to travel (End of January)? Sigh. In my spare time I will do it.
Part of the problem is i don't really know what to expect in Rwanda. I will be in Kigali for the most part (that is where the orphanage is) and I have no idea what my arrangements will be. I assume that I will be staying at a place that is "nice" (altho no pricey hotel) maybe with a host family, maybe renting an apartment type of thing. I will be likely spending most of my time in the orphanage however unless they allow me to take the child home with me while we wait for the adoption to go thru. Length of stay could be 1-3 months. BTW, I don't even know what street food is, nor do I have a clue what expat means altho I get the context.
As it stands now, I also have to go back thru Nairobi in order to get the child's visa. I will not know anyone there and will be mostly at the US embassy so no bushwacking or huts there...
I know they "require" Yellow fever. So I guess I gotta get that. (no thimerosal in it BTW)
I know I will most likely take antimalarials.
They suggest two adult doses of MMR but I have had one dose when I was 19 and all other countries only recommend one dose... so right now I am planning to skip that one (any other ideas here).
The travel clinic is NOT recommending HepB. anyone have ideas on if that is correct or not? I am not planning any IV drug use or sexual activity, obviously I can't know if i will need a transfusion (BTDT)...
HepA is recommended for all travelers. No idea about this... haven't looked into it don't know even how it is spread (food and water). Looks like the vax contains formaldehyde and a bunch of "other ingredients".
Meningitis is recommended for this area ONLY IN THE DRY SEASON. I am not planning to be there during that time. (May thru OCtober I hear?) Does this seem right or true for those of you that have been there?
Polio they do recommend- it is inactivated one dose, no thimerosal but preserved in formaldehyde and contains phenoxyethanol (woo-hoo). I am leaning toward taking this... ideas?
Tetanus/Diptheria. Okay, I am totally confused on this. I am not worried about pertussis. But I have not had any vax in this series, so it is my understanding that I would need the whole series beginning with one does of DTaP and followed 4 weeks later with one DT and another DT 6 months after.
If this is true (is it?) then I donlt have time for it anyway, unless my body will start producing antiboties on the first DTaP and therefore offer me some protection. Another question- do I really need to worry about tetanus? I know there is good info from Aviva J rohm but I have not had a chance to read it. And I still have yet to learn about Diptheria, how it is spread (food and water?), how much is there and what treatment/prognosis is as well as how effective the vax is anyway. Help me here.
Ugh- where is AmyD when I need her? She would have all this all sorted out for me in about 2 hours max. Sigh, I miss her
So to recap:
meningitis- no (not dry season)
MMR-no(had one adult does)
yellow fever- yes (required)
HepA- yes (have no idea why though)
DT or DTaP- maybe?
Seriously, if anyone of you can takes each vax listed above and give me some idea of if I am on the right track, please let me know. Any conflicting or enlightening ideas welcome... it would be sooo helpful to not have to come home tonight and stumble around the internet forever searching for info...
A million thanks in advance,