Travel Medical Testing in Kenya

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Travel Medicine and Medical Testing in Kenya

Travel medicine is a field that focuses on preventing and treating health issues related to travel, providing accurate information and medical services to travelers. 

Travel medical tests - cover image labtestzote.com

At Labtest Zote Network, we have  seen an increasing number of inquiries on travel related testing, and this article is intended to provide a comprehensive understanding on the topic.

So get on board, buckle up and lets go 🛫

Travel Medical testing : Why it may be necessary

Your specific needs for testing will depend on the circumstances of your travel, which may fall on any of the categories below

Short term Travel  – For business, personal or leisure 

This type generally requires the least amount of health tests and will depend on destination. Within e.Africa, a Yellow fever certificate will usually suffice. Covid-19 test vaccination and mandates vary with destination, be sure to talk to your travel agent or host about it

Education

When going for studies in university or colleges abroad, the institution  will typically advice you on the type and extent of testing needed. Communicable diseases as well as drugs testing may be required.

Work Related Travel

The objective of medical testing is to assess your fitness to work in addition to screening for infectious or communicable diseases. Many foreign employment agencies also require drugs of abuse and alcohol tests.

Immigration

If you are relocating to live in another country, for example as a green card holder, your medical testing may be more thorough. General wellness tests, infectious and communicable disease testing may be required. Another unique aspect of testing for immigration is human identification, which encampassess paterntiy/maternity testing  

These are the typical scenarios where medical testing may be required. The list is not exhaustive and other more esoteric circumstances may obtain. 

Reasons for Health Checks and Test for Travel

While some travelers may fell inconvenience by the requirements for medical assessment before travel, there are valid reasons why these are necessary

In this section lets look at the most common reasons why testing is important for  for cross-border travel in Kenya.

Health Risk Assessment

Travel medicine practitioners assess the health risks associated with various travel destinations and provide appropriate advice to travelers based on their destination and travel style. The complete blood count, kidney function tests, urine analysis are some of the test panels for general well being.

The scope of tests required varies by country of destination and reasons for travel

Pre-travel Advisory

This involves advising travelers on the prevention of malaria, dengue, and other tropical or vaccine-preventable infections. In addition, travelers are offered information on the health systems, requirements and health insurance in the destination country.

Vaccinations

Travel medicine practitioners recommend and administer necessary vaccinations to protect travelers from disease-carrying insects and other health risks

Disease prevention or prophylaxis

The use of medications is a crucial aspect of travel medicine, such as use of anti-malarial drugs when travelling to endemic areas. Malaria is one of the most common and serious causes of fever in travelers.

Pre-travel Consultations: 

These consultations involve discussing health risks, providing health promotion advice, and managing risks associated with travel.

Compliance with travel requirements. 

Many countries strictly enforce medical testing for travelers. Lack of correct documentation on the same may lead to denial of travel permit or being turned away at ports of entry.

Scope of Medical Testing in Travel Medicine

Medical testing plays a vital role in travel medicine, as it helps identify and manage health risks associated with travel. They are also part of compliance or requirement for travel, depending on your destination.

Some common tests and assessments include:

  1. Covid-19 tests. While the pandemic is winding down, a significant number of countries still require both vaccination against the diseases as well as rapid antigen  or PCR test
  2. Polio Vaccination: Travelers from Kenya may be required to provide vaccination against the  polio virus. 
  3. Yellow Fever Vaccination: Vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers to certain areas in Kenya, and vaccination records must be provided upon arrival.
  4. Measles antibodies – Some countries require evidence of measles vaccination, antibody test is crucial. 
  5. Hepatitis – some destination countries require evidence of hepatitis B test (Hep B S antigen Test), while others may ask for evidence of vaccination. This may include vaccination certificate or hepatitis b antibody test or both.
  6. Other Vaccinations: Depending on the travel destination, additional vaccinations may be recommended, such as those for Hepatitis C, rabies, or meningitis.
  7. Blood Tests: Blood tests can help detect and manage various health conditions, including anemia, malnutrition, and other tropical diseases.
  8. TB Testing. Many western countries require tuberculin skin test (TST) also known as Mantoux test from travelers from endemic countries like kenya and other sub saharan african countries
  9. Malaria Testing: This is essential for detecting and managing malaria, a significant health risk for travelers to and from malaria-endemic areas.
  10.  HIV 1/2  Test – This is optional in most countries. However some recruitment agencies still ask for HIV tests as part of the travel testing package.
  11. Drugs of abuse urine test
    Particularly important in education, work and immigration purposes. In most instances, urine test will suffice, it’s important to adhere to the requested testing modality
  12. CDT test for chronic alcohol use or abuse 
    The carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin test is used to access chronic alcohol use.

Health conditions and infectious diseases are quite dynamic, and changes to health advisories keep on changing to reflect realities of the times. If you are planning to travel be sure to speak with your  travel agent and travel  medicine specialist for advice. 

Important Considerations for Travel related Medical Testing 

 🌟If you are traveling from Kenya to the US or Europe, it is important to plan ahead for any necessary medical testing for travel or immigration purposes. Before your trip, it is recommended to check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website1. You may also wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad

 🌟Its also essential to do the actual tests required. A few months back, a gentleman was deported from Canada because he had falsified some STD tests, which ended positive when he arrived in that country.

 🌟Ensure the medical facility you engage in for your testing and vaccinations is fully registered and licensed.  The immigration office may decide to verify and if the facility is not licensed, they may reject the results or vaccination documentation. 

 🌟For Immigration or work or education  purposes, your contact at the country of destination will provide you all the necessary details for medical testing. Sharing this with us allows our Travel Health Specialist to guide you.

 🌟Proper planning for your travel medical tests are importance to ensure a smooth and successful trip. Our travel medicine service provides travelers accurate information and medical services they need. 

🌟Tests Turn-Around time

Some tests take a long time (e.g 3 days for Mantoux test) to get results. You need to factor this as you plan your travel.

COST OF TRAVEL MEDICAL TESTING IN KENYA

With the rising cost of healthcare, most travelers want to benefit from quality but affordable testing. At Labtest Zote Network, we price our tests are affordable while guaranteeing accuracy and quality. . In addition, we publish the cost of all our tests online, an unprecedented level of transparency in the medical sector in Kenya. 

By offering comprehensive travel medicine services, including vaccinations, medical testing, and pre-travel consultations, Labtest Zote Network ensures you comply with medical testing requirements as well as address any health challenges that may impede your travel.

Where can I get travel related medical testing and vaccinations? 

In Kenya, leading private hospitals such as Aga Khan University Hospital, the Nairobi Hospital, Nairobi West Hospital offer these services a part of their normal services

There are a number of dedicated medical travel service providers in the capital, Nairobi. 

hese may be more experienced in nuances of medial travel. 

Some of the more popular ones include

1. International Organization for Migration (IOM) 

This center is the contracted provider of medical testing by US, UK and other countries. As such, they charge extremely exorbitant fees, unfortunately there is no other option if you are required to get your medical testing there. 

Click here to access the IOM medical Testing Website

2. Center For Tropical & Travel Medicine (CTTM)

Located on Ngong road, this center is well known for travel medicine related services. 

CTTM has great Google reviews so check them out. 

3. Lab-test Zote Network.

Located at accessible location within Hurligham area of Nairobi, we offer comprehensive medical travel services and advisory. As a part of our network, we can also offer these services through our partners in a location near you, saving you the hustle and cost of travelling to the location.

We also publish all the information you may need on our website, and if you need more information, reach out via call/text/whatsapp or on email

You can reach out to us here… 

Travel Medical Testing: A wrap up

At Labtest Zote Network, we keep tabs on global pandemics, outbreaks and changes with travel health advisories. 

Consider subscribing to our weekly updates delivered right in your mailbox for the latest laboratory medicine and health news of the week.

  1. Cbc
  2. Hepatitis B S antigen
  3. Hepatitis B C/S antibody 
  4. Covid 19 test
  5. HIV tests
  6. Kidney function tests 
  7. Liver function test
  8. CDT test 
  9. Drugs of abuse urinary Test Panel
  10. Measles antibody

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