Malaria Risk in Kenya

Think of luxurious African adventure and relaxation and Kenya immediately springs to mind. With some of the world’s most majestic wildlife and beautiful, unspoilt beaches right on its doorstep, it’s not hard to see why.

Due to its proximity to the equator, Kenya generally has a tropical yet pleasant climate. The Kenya coast is hot and humid all year round, but the country does experience a dry and wet season.

It’s important to be aware of the malaria risk in any country you’re travelling to, including Kenya, so the following information will give guidance on how to help protect against malaria.

The ABCD Approach

The prevention of malaria involves 4 key steps termed ABCD which need to be considered before travelling to any country where malaria could be present.

ABCD stands for:

Awareness – awareness of whether you’re at risk of getting malaria

Bite prevention – this involves following the advice listed below to avoid mosquito bites

Chemoprophylaxis – in some area, travellers are advised to take anti-malaria tablets to help prevent contracting malaria

Diagnosis –seek medical attention immediately if you have any concerns about potential symptoms, including up to a year after returning from travelling

Awareness of the Malaria risk in Kenya

It’s important to be aware of the risk of malaria in Kenya before travelling there which can vary dependent on whereabouts in Kenya you’re travelling to and the time of year. Make sure to check the Fit for Travel website here for the most up to date information on the malaria risk in Kenya before you travel.

Bite Prevention Advice

To help protect against mosquito bites in any country, including Kenya, you should:

  • Wear clothing that is long and loose to cover your arms and legs to prevent them from being accessible to mosquitoes
  • Hang mosquito nets around your bed and the door to your accommodation
  • Use an insect repellent of at least 20% DEET-based concentration and reapply as often as recommended (if you’re looking for a DEET-free product, a bottle of Malaway insect repellent is currently free with any purchase of Maloff Protect, while stocks last)
  • Switch on air conditioning and fans, and use screens to keep your room cool which is less attractive to mosquitoes

Preventing Malaria with Chemoprophylaxis

Anti-malarial tablets can also help to provide extra protection against malaria, but they are not suitable for everyone. Find out if they are required ahead of a trip to Kenya by undergoing a full travel health consultation or speaking to your local pharmacist.

Symptoms of Malaria and Diagnosis

You will need to know what symptoms to look out for so you can access advice and treatment as quickly as possible if you are concerned you may have malaria.

As per the NHS website, symptoms of malaria include:

  • A high temperature of 38°C or above
  • Feeling hot and shivery
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Generally feeling unwell

You should seek medical advice immediately if you develop malaria symptoms. These can occur during or up to 12 months after visiting a country which has malaria.

If your GP or pharmacist has recommended anti-malarial tablets to protect you against malaria during a trip to Kenya, find out if an over the counter solution such as Maloff Protect (atovaquone and proguanil) is the right option for you here.