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pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

by lillyia Online Now Aug 31, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Hello,

We have holiday planned for October and just discovered we are expecting a baby.

Any advise? What is the malaria situation in October?
Are there any 'safe' areas?

I would love to hear from people living in the country or those who had already been there.

Thanks,
L.

PS originally posted here: VT Forum temporarily unavailable

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7 Answers
  • GrumpyDiver's Profile Photo

    Re: pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

    by GrumpyDiver Online Now Aug 31, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    Same answers as you got last time. Get advice from a knowledgable doctor. If your own doctor is not comfortable in dealing with the issue, get a referral to a doctor that can provide advice.

    Any medication can have an impact on your or your baby's health. There is little data on the interaction of the medications on pregnant women and their foetus, hence the advice not to use the various medications when pregnant. Don't forget that the treatment for malaria is a high dose of the ant-malarials that you aren't supposed be taking when you are pregnant, but at that point you won't have any choice.

    Ultimately, it's your choice - this is something you will have to deal with, regardless on what decide to do.

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  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo

    Re: pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

    by Odinnthor Online Now Aug 31, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Clearly someone did not like the responses in your first forum.

    Sorry to be blunt, but it sounds like you are looking for an excuse to go anyway. Does that mean that if someone here says "No worries, go ahead and go...!!", - that you will jump at that, ignore the rest, and go anyway...?

    .....or is it your "partner" that remains unconvinced? How much experience does your 'partner" have in tropical locations?

    Changing the forum destination means little, as many of us read them all. The responses will not change. Frankly, now I worry only a little about you, and even less about your "partner". My thoughts are with your unborn child, who does not have any say in the decision.

    Again sorry for being blunt, but you asked, - twice!

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  • Re: pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

    by ken.h Online Now Aug 31, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Hello,
    October is best season to visit Madagascar and it‘s high season there.
    If you are expecting a baby, get advice from a travel clinic, your GP or the website: www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk. And don’t forget to pack a non-mercury thermometer.
    Madagascar is in Africa country so you have to avoid mosquito bites between dusk and dawn and also by taking tablets as Malarone.
    I would like to recommend you heading down to the south follow the National Road 7 step by step, this tour rich for the wildlife, culture, beautiful landscapes, beach resort and so on….
    I can say Madagascar is one of safe country in Africa so you don’t need to worry about your safety but you have to avoid walk alone along the road in dusk time so take a taxi .
    If you like I would like to recommend you as freelance guide who could arrange your tour there, he has car for hiring ( usual car , mini bus ,4*4) , he is honest guide , he has large knowledge in tourism , we have unforgettable holidays with his service , this is his address:fihlusko07@hotmail.com
    Good luck!!!
    Ken

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Re: pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

    by CatherineReichardt Online Now Sep 1, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    I am based in South Africa and used to travel extensively in malarial zones on business prior to falling pregnant. The advice I got at the time from several experts was unanimous - simply don't take the risk. That goes for both you and your baby, who, after all, would bear the brunt of the impacts.
    Malaria is the biggest risk, but there are also other factors to take into consideration. Madagascar is a fascinating and rewarding location, but unless you're just planning to go on a beach holiday to Nosy Be or Ile St Marie, it is a physically demanding destination. What happens if you miscarry/go into premature labour in a remote location? Do you really want to take that chance and could you live with the potential consequences?
    Travelling with children to Madagascar is another matter. Once they are old enough to take malarial medication (usually 3 and older, but seek advice from a travel clinic), options such as beach holidays are very attractive. See my Madagascar travel pages for an account of our trip to Madagascar in June this year with our children (6 and 3), where we combined Ile St Marie with the area around Antananarivo which was absolutely fantastic. Even staying on Ile St Marie less than 10m from the beach with strong breezes, mosquitoes were rife, although the prophylaxis combined with taking precautions to avoid being bitten (realistically, to minimise the number of times we were bitten) meant that none of us contracted malaria.
    I sense that you know in your heart what the right decision is. Good luck with your pregancy - and take heart that there are lots of malaria-free places that you can still visit (I travelled to Hungary, France and the US when I was 6 months pregnant with my first child and had no problems whatsoever, except from a neanderthal Homeland Security official entering the US).

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  • ATLC's Profile Photo

    Re: pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

    by ATLC Online Now Sep 11, 2010 at 6:34 AM

    Apart from the risks of malaria, especially with pregnancy, you should know that extreme care should be taken as to food and water.
    I escaped stomach trouble until the very last day. I'd been in the wilderness and aup and down the country, I stayed in holiday resorts and in people's houses. My friends got ill but I didn't.
    I got the bug from the country's best hotel restaurant. It took me weeks to recover. Go figure!

    You need all your strength for your pregnancy.

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  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Re: pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

    by CatherineReichardt Online Now Sep 11, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    Excellent advice - we were poleaxed by a stomach bug for two days in Anakao and other than celebral malaria (which I contracted whilst working in West Africa), I don't think that I have ever felt so grim! Everyone we know who has been to Madagascar has succumbed to some sort of stomach bug - seems like it's a rite of passage (but it's still absolutely worth it to visit one of the world's most wonderful travel destinations!)

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  • ijkh's Profile Photo

    Re: pregnant on holiday to Madagascar

    by ijkh Online Now Sep 24, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    I would only go with full evacuation medical insurance. Health care in this country is very basic. If you should start to miscarry or get seriously ill you will need to be medievac-ed out to South Africa. We got full evacuation insurance prior to our trip. Money well spent.

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