The State of Vaccination
The African economy has shown a steady growth over the past few years with an estimated increase of 3.6% by the end of 2020, according to the World Bank forecast. It’s an exciting time for the South African and International labour force looking for either a permanent or contractual change of scenery. Rapid development calls for various specialised skills, creating multiple job opportunities in Sub-Saharan African territories such as Ghana, Kenya, Guinea and Mozambique.
The skills shortage in these territories, particularly within the marine, oil and gas, engineering and petrochemical industries, is a gap that Kwena Offshore is happy to fill. The project solutions subsidiary company offers a wide range of services including full resourcing, mobilisation and international payroll solutions, all of which coincide with the process of relocating to a native territory.
Finding the right talent for the job is only one cog within the mobilisation process. Once a candidate has been approved, it can take anything from a matter of weeks to a couple months to complete the full relocation process. This includes a number of physical health checks, medicals, police clearances, work permit applications, visa requirements, psychological assessments and flight bookings ahead of the final contractual agreement.
The exercise is quite a costly one, which is why Kwena Offshore do their utmost best to educate and inform each candidate about the living and camp conditions within the respective territory. Unfortunately, Africa is one of the higher risk continents with common health epidemics such as Ebola and Malaria. Ensuring that you have the necessary preventative vaccinations prior to launch is a top priority for Kwena Offshore and a crucial component in order to retain and sustain best health practises in your new employment.
Here is a list of the Top 5 vaccinations required when relocating to an African territory:
THE BIG 5:
1) Hepatitis A
What it is: Hepatitis A is a virus affecting the liver. It usually spreads through contaminated food or water. Unlike other forms of hepatitis, A cannot become a chronic infection.
Symptoms: Appear two to six weeks after exposure. This means the traveler can visit a country and return without knowing they’re infected. Symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain and nausea and jaundice.
How does it spread: Contamination can happen at any point in the food growing, processing or cooking process. It is possible to spread through close contact with an infected person including sexual relations.
Prevention: The vaccine is the best form of protection and comes in two doses given six months apart. The vaccine protects for up to 40 years and in some cases longer. Immune globulin is an alternative that provides short-term protection for travelers.
2) Hepatitis B:
What it is: Hepatitis B is a contagious liver infection with potentially severe symptoms. It can lead to lifelong illness if it becomes chronic. The two most common forms are acute (short term occurring 6 months after exposure) and chronic (long term illness that affects the liver).
Symptoms: Jaundice, light colored stool, fever, fatigue that persists for weeks or months, loss of appetite, nausea and excessive vomiting.
How does it spread: Through bodily fluids like blood or semen. Some common vectors include: sex, contaminated needles, and direct contact with blood or open wounds. Sexual transmission accounts for nearly two thirds of acute Hepatitis B and is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.
Prevention: The injectable vaccine provides lifelong protection if boosters are completed.
What it is: Typhoid Fever spreads through contaminated food or water and is caused by Salmonella typhi. It can be fatal if not treated quickly. Humans are the sole hosts of bacteria which is shed in feces from 6 weeks to 3 months after infection.
Symptoms: Fever, anorexia, abdominal discomfort and headaches.
How does it spread: Through food and water.
Prevention: There are two types of prevention. Vivotif also known as typhoid pills made from attenuated live bacteria. The vaccine provides up to five years’ protection and is approved for use in individuals over the age of 6. It is taken orally over the course of four doses. The injectable vaccine is made from inactive bacteria and provides protection up to two years.
What it is: Cholera is a bacterial infection found in food and water sources contaminated with feces.
Symptoms: Extreme diarrhea, vomiting, leg cramps, rapid fluid loss, dehydration and shock.
How does it spread: Through contaminated food and water. Can kill within hours without treatment.
Prevention: Vaxchora is the vaccine against some of the bacteria. It is a live, attenuated vaccine which produces an incomplete, nontoxic version of the toxin creating an immunity to the infection.
5) Yellow Fever
What it is: Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease present in Africa and South America. The infection can range from mild to severe.
Symptoms: Fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal and muscular pain. In more severe symptoms include hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever.
How does it spread: It is a common sub-Saharan endemic caused by parasites such as mosquitoes.
Prevention: Injectable vaccination. Additional precautions include insect repellent (EPA registered), long sleeved apparel and an extra awareness between dusk and dawn when mosquito activity is rife.
Stay informed. For more information about Kwena Offshore or job vacancies available in Africa, visit www.kwena.net