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Ama&yaw

Traveking to Ghana while pregnant

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Hi everyone!

I havent been on in awhile now but still browse here and there! I will be traveling to Ghana in March to visit my husbands family with him but I will be 4 months pregnant by then! :)

I am a little worried about the malaria...my husband says its nothing to worry about and the the US makes a big deal out of everything international. I know he is right but I wanted to know what, if any, precautions any of you took while pregnant and traveling.

We did buy a bed net, some spray with 70% DEET and long sleeves for night. We are going during a non mosquito time as well. The house we are staying at was just sprayed because our cousin just had a baby.

Anyways maybe its just my paranoia! But I though I'd ask. I did get a prescription for a malaria medication but the only onw safe for pregnancy causes psychosis and depression....ya dont think I want to take that on my joyous trip!

Thanks for your input

Edited by Ama&yaw

03/2010- Got married!

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04/30/10- All 4 hard copies NOA

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..You are well covered. Just be sure to sleep inside the net at night and do not stay outside for long at night. The common anti-malaria presciption for pregnant women in Nigeria is called Fansider....hey there is nothing to fear, enjoy your trip and have fun!

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..You are well covered. Just be sure to sleep inside the net at night and do not stay outside for long at night. The common anti-malaria presciption for pregnant women in Nigeria is called Fansider....hey there is nothing to fear, enjoy your trip and have fun!

Thank you for your reply! I feel a little better now!


03/2010- Got married!

04/22/2010- Filed AOS, I-130, EAD and AP

04/29/2010- Recieved NOA's via text

04/30/10- All 4 hard copies NOA

05/04/2010-All files touched!

05/24/10- Recieved Biometrics appointment 06/16/2010

05/24/10- Walkin Biometrics-DONE!

05/24/10- Expedite EAD request through USCIS

05/25/10-I485 & I765 touched :)

05/25/10- Email from CRIS requesting extra documents for expedite to be faxed

05/25/10- Faxed evidence, including support letter from congressman (28 pages)

05/26/10- Email from CRIS thy recieved and are reviewing expedite evidence

05/26/10- @8:15pm- email that EAD card production ordered!!! AP also approved today! Yay!

05/27/10 I765 & I131 touched!

06/01/10- Recieved our Advance Parole...but where's our EAD card!!!

06/04/10-EAD sent in the mail!!

06/10/2010- AOS Interview letter recieved!! wow! 7/14/2010-oops! hehe

07/14/2010- AOS interview- Approved (less than 15 minutes)

url=http://daisypath.com]aKMem7.png[/url]

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How long will you be going for? Most anti-malarials don't kick in with the negative side effects (like paranoia and depression) until you've been on them for an extended amount of time. Like I took Lariam/Mefloquine the whole time I lived in Kenya (2 years) and had no problems, but others started developing some psychological side effects after a several months of taking them weekly. If you're just going for a few weeks I doubt you'd notice anything at all. I've never been pregnant though so I'm not sure about which meds are safe for use during pregnancy.


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Not a lot of malaria medications are safe for pregnancy, and pregnancy does make you more susceptible to contracting malaria. Bednets and spray will help though. You could look up IPT and see if that is an option for you. They have are pushing it for pregnant woman living in Ghana, but I don't know if it would apply if you are not staying too long. IPT (intermittent preventative treatment) means that a woman can get a dose of antimalarial medicine just twice during her pregnancy, instead of taking it all the time (the recommended medicine is sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine). It's safer, cost effective, and also really helps prevent malaria. You could probably ask about that at a clinic in ghana.

My sister had malaria while she was pregnant with my niece, and thankfully they are both okay now (she was living in Guinea at the time). But it is something to take seriously. You can look up the WHO report on malaria with specific information on malaria in pregnancy in Ghana (which can be found online) or rollback malaria or unicef.

Using an insecticide treated mosquito net will go a long way towards protecting you and your baby. Certainly many Ghanaian women live with this threat constantly, and I think people in Ghana are taking it seriously. I don't think you are being paranoid at all, and it sounds like you have a good plan to minimize risks while you are there.

Safe Journey!

Jen and Babs


Psalm 20:5

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2/04/2010 - I-129F sent

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4/07/2010 - NVC received

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10/25/2010 - Finally back in Ghana to visit!

11/01/2010 - Interview--mostly positive, but consular officer requires cosponsor

11/24/2010 - 3rd appt.--Finally have all documents in. Result-Administrative Processing! Consulate says they will contact my fiance

05/18/2011 - Admin processing complete! Babs is asked to appear at the embassy on the 25th.

05/25/2011 - En route to the embassy, Babs is robbed on the roadside. His passport and other papers are all stolen. After filling out a police report, he arrives at the embassy a little late, and they allow him in to speak to the CO, even though he has no valid ID. Thank God! The CO gives him another appointment on June 15th, to bring a new passport and also an updated police certificate.

06/14/2011 - New passport (expedited) ready.

06/15/2011 - The CO finds a missing stamp on the new passport. Sends Babs back to the passport office and tells him to return in the afternoon. All is taken care of. VISA APPROVED!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!

06/24/2011 - Visa pick up date--told to return on the 30th.

06/30/2011 - Babs returns but doesn't get the visa. Back in AP!

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If I am thinking of the medication you have been prescribed then those side effects are rare. I take it every time I have been to Ghana and have not had any severe side effects.

Just take all the necessary precautions and you should be fine. :)


Mama to 2 beautiful boys (August 2011 and January 2015)

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Enjoy your vacation. I wouldnt drink the water.


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7-23-2010 AOS package mailed priority via USPS to Chicago Lockbox (expected delivery date 7-26-2010)
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Sprinkle garlic powder and brewers yeast on your food ( or mix a little in your food ) Then either use Avon skin so soft or a mixture of about 18 drops of one of the following ( cinnamon oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, or castor oil ) in a carrier of about 2 tablespoons of oil or witch hazel as an external repellent.


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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Though I've never been and never will be pregnant, I have also never taken malaria drugs for any of my extended stays in Ghana. The key is not to get bit; therefore, nets are advisable. There are people who will take the malaria drugs (which do have side effects), and end up contracting malaria anyway, partially because they had a false sense of security.

If you want to avoid the possibility of side effects, you should look into natural preventative measures, such as herbs, which do work. Neem, garlic, black walnut, wormwood. Mosquitoes had a feast on me during one of my 2010 visits because I slept with the window open and had no net, but malaria was never an issue. Candles, incense with lemongrass or citronella, and herbal insect repellent (Burt's Bees) are also used to keep mosquitoes away.

Edited by Mr. K

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Congrats on the pregnancy...I think if you can see your OB doctor before your trip to Ghana. I would be curious to know what they would recommend????? Enjoy your trip!!! :thumbs:


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Did you speak with your doctor about using deet? I'm concerned that you're planning on using such a high concentration while pregnant. Especially on the skin since it gets absorbed. For instance, Canada does not allow any product with more than 30% deet. Here are some links you may want to take a quick peek at. Have a great trip and stay safe! :)

Hazards of Deet

Deet - Consumer Product Safety

Is it Safe to Use Insect Repellent During Pregnancy


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Take it seriously. Unlike most Ghanaians, you have likely not built up natural immunity to malaria from being exposed over the course of your life. Pregnant women are more susceptible to malaria, more likely to get complicated malaria - which is a life-threatening situation - and malaria increases the risk of all kinds of complications during pregnancy. And west africa is ground zero for malaria

Not trying to scare you or saying you shouldn't go - just to take it seriously. I would definitely take an anti-malarial - checking first with your OB and travel doc about which one would be best for you. If you're taking an anti-malarial, you shouldn't need SP (fansidar) which was mentioned by another poster. If you decide not to go with the anti-malarials, definitely you want to take a dose of SP. Also as you mentioned protect yourself against mosquitos, and make sure you have a plan for what to do if you do get sick with malaria or anything else - identify a good local clinic before you leave and make sure you know their hours, location, and emergency phone number (to reach the doctor on call). If you do get sick with a fever, make sure they test you for malaria and don't just hand you drugs.

As usual, check with your OB and travel doc to see if they have any other suggestions. And have fun!!

-PhD student in international health next door to you in Burkina :)

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