International Travel to a 3rd World Country & Vaccines

Since returning from Uganda for the 2nd time this year, I receive emails and fb messages on a regular basis concerning vaccines and medicines for International travel to a 3rd world country.

For Uganda specifically, the main threats are yellow fever and malaria. I did not get a yellow fever vaccine either time, nor did I take the prescribed malaria medication. (NOTE: There is NO malaria vaccine). In my research, I found that both the yellow fever vaccine and the malaria medication lower the immune system and make the body more susceptible to fighting illness in a 3rd world country.  I also know many people who contracted malaria, while on the malaria medication. My research has found a more powerful way to prevent malaria and yellow fever, which I will share below. First. let’s start with yellow fever.

YELLOW FEVER

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the yellow fever virus. It is found in certain parts of Africa and South America. Yellow fever is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Before going to Uganda for the first time, I spent many hours researching the CDC website and speaking to yellow fever vaccine specialists. At first, I almost fell for the lie that I could not enter the country without the yellow fever vaccine. So I continued to research. The CDC website will  lead you to believe you don’t have a choice other than vaccination to enter the country. They call it “required” vs “recommended” to enter the country. Uganda is “required”. What I found (after hours and hours of research) is the word required still does not mean mandatory. In the same way we have been led to believe a child can’t enter school without “required” shots (NOT TRUE) is the same way we have been led to believe you can’t enter certain countries without the “required” shots (NOT TRUE). There is always this one little world left out, called: EXEMPTIONS

HOW TO GET AN EXEMPTION FROM YELLOW FEVER VACCINE? I learned that after getting the yellow fever vaccine, you are given a stamped and signed “International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis” card. Also referred to as the ICVP, or sometimes just called the “yellow card”. The CDC tells you that everyone who enters a country that requires yellow fever vaccination, must carry and show the yellow fever vaccine card. See image below.

yellow fever card

Then I learned that this card has a section for medical exemptions.  See right side of image. Bingo! So… I went on the official government website and ordered my own yellow card. They came in a pack of 25, but I was willing to pay for all 25 of them.  I then went to my MD and had him sign the medical exemption. I had no reason for my medical exemption, other than that “I may suffer from a vaccine reaction”. Which was certainly true. I may have had a vaccine reaction (many people do), but I wasn’t willing to take the chance. Please read the medical contraindications section on the CDC website for those who should NOT receive this vaccine. NOTE: I wasn’t asked to show the yellow card or my medical exemption on either of my trips to Uganda. No-one ever asked to see it. 

The following information on medical waivers & exemptions is taken directly from CDC website:

Medical Waivers (Exemptions)

For medical contraindications, a physician who has decided to issue a waiver should fill out and sign the Medical Contraindications to Vaccination section of the ICVP (Figure 3-02). The clinician should also do the following:

  • Give the traveler a signed and dated exemption letter on the physician’s letterhead stationery, clearly stating the contraindications to vaccination and bearing the stamp used by the yellow fever vaccination centers to validate the ICVP. (I did this part too and think it’s very important to follow exactly what the CDC says to do concerning proper medical exemptions. It’s not worth having problems at immigration)
  • Inform the traveler of any increased risk for yellow fever infection associated with non-vaccination and how to minimize this risk by avoiding mosquito bites. (Hello, mosquito nets? Yes. This is the most practical way to minimize the risk. SLEEP UNDER A MOSQUITO NET).

According to the CDC website: “Because of the risk of serious adverse events that can occur after yellow fever vaccination, clinicians should only vaccinate people who 1) are at risk of exposure to YFV or 2) require proof of vaccination to enter a country. To further minimize the risk of serious adverse events, clinicians should carefully observe the contraindications and consider the precautions to vaccination before administering yellow fever vaccine (Table 3-23)”. So that’s what I did. I minimized the risks of serious adverse events, by opting out of the vaccine.

I do not believe that the yellow fever vaccine is effective in preventing  yellow fever. That is why I choose not to receive the vaccine, and instead choose a different route to protect myself. I’ll share my immune building route below.

For more questions concerning the yellow fever vaccine and to learn which countries “require” and which countries “recommend”, click (HERE) to enter the CDC website.

MALARIA

Malaria is a parasitic blood disease which is transmitted by the anopheles (infected female) mosquito. There is currently no malaria vaccine. The malaria meds that are prescribed to people are awful. They do yucky things to your body. Do your own research though. This post isn’t about trying to talk you out of taking something to prevent malaria. Malaria does really yucky things to your body too. This post is about a sharing a more effective and safer way to prevent malaria. One of the most powerful ways to fight malaria is through a powerful combination of wormwood, black walnut, and licorice root. We took these in tincture form and put the drops in our water bottle each morning. You can can get these at Whole Foods or order online. We order from vitacost.

MOSQUITO NETS: Please, SLEEP UNDER A MOSQUITO NET. The people who live in 3rd world countries are not begging for malaria meds. They are in need of mosquito nets to sleep under. For $10, you can provide a mosquito net to vulnerable people in 3rd world countries. I did a post about 5 months ago called: Mosquito Nets Prevent Malaria. I had a goal to raise enough money to purchase 30 mosquito nets in one day. I raised enough money to purchase 32. God is cool like that. Read more about that (HERE)

Here are pictures of Black Walnut & Wormwood and Licorice Root.
This is the most powerful and effective anti-malaria meds you can take! 
photo (7)

SANITATION ISSUES

After malaria, I believe this is the biggest health threat while visiting or living in a 3rd world country: SANITATION ISSUES. Unclean drinking water, contaminated food, and lack of proper sanitation for hand washing. With these things come parasites, bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. The water is so dirty that even taking a shower in it can provide risks. Don’t shave in dirty water. Don’t drink dirty water.

The best way to stay healthy in this sort of environment is to build the immune system, not weaken it. Malaria meds and vaccines only weaken the immune system. They do not strengthen it.

During both of my trips to Uganda, I took a daily regimen of many things that built my immune system and kept it strong, as well as fought sickness.

photo (5)Our “medicine cabinet” for International Travel to a 3rd world country

*Young Living Essential oils (Thieves, Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon were our go-to-oils). These oils can treat just about everything. If you are not familiar with YL oils, please click (HERE) to more
*Throat coat tea for sickness, colds, sorethroats, & coughing. We bought local honey while in Uganda and put in our hot tea with lemon. It is very common to get the “Ugandan cough” and this tea works wonders.
*Homeopathic tummy soothers (great for upset tummies)
*A good probiotic
*White willow (great for pain)
*Scullcap (also great for pain, but also helped with restful sleep)
*Colloidal silver (one of the most effective natural antibiotics; anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral)
*Super Lysine (a great immune builder). Also has Vitamin C, Echinacea, Licorice, Propolis, and Garlic
*Astragulus Root (another great immune builder). Great for flu & colds
*Hyssop (another great immune builder) Good for blood cells, respiratory health, digestive benefits, and much more
*Tea tree oil (so good for poison ivy and ring worm other skin ailments). All of which I’ve had in Uganda.
*Rescue Remedy (a natural sleep aide. A must have when traveling)
*Arnica cream and Arnica homeopathics. Great for pain, muscle aches, sprained ankles, etc…
*Raw garlic. By the end of my 2nd trip to Uganda, when I felt the nasty’s coming on. I cut up pieces of garlic and swallowed like a pill. That was my “antibiotic”
*Coconut Oil: A Must have! We use it for everything from insect bites and burns to taken internally for immune system.
*Water: Drink TONS of clean bottled water. Don’t get dehydrated. Clean drinking water is so important to staying free of sickness!

Everything in our “medicine cabinet” not only helped with pain and ailments and common sickness and illness, but also served as immune builders.

Here are a few more up-close pictures are what I consider “MUST-HAVES” when traveling to a 3rd world country.

Colloidal Silver and Astragalus Root (These serve as a natural antibiotic and a powerful immune builder) Drops can be put into a water bottle to drink throughout the day. 

photo (6)

A good Probiotic

photo (4)

White Willow and Scullcap: Great for pain and sleep
photo (3)

I can’t stress enough how important it is to constantly strengthen the immune system on a daily basis while in a 3rd world country. A yellow fever vaccine and a prescription malaria drug are not going to keep you “safe”, “healthy”, or “protected”. You must take a proactive approach to keeping yourself safe. A “preventative” approach (vaccines & meds), which do not offer effective prevention, is not going to cut it. I know many people who take this approach and end up very sick either in country or when they get home.

Lastly, I read a comment recently on a thread that said…”Anyone against vaccinations needs to travel to a 3rd world country and watch what yellow fever, polio, and malaria and all sorts of other nasty virus’s do to entire populations”. Oh my…how misinformed is this comment. As someone who HAS traveled to a 3rd world country, I feel like I have the knowledge to comment: As I shared earlier, there is no such thing as a malaria vaccine. There is also no vaccine for “nasty viruses” as this person was referring to.  The truth is…entire populations of people in 3rd world countries are dying from malnutrition and sanitation issues. The people are undernourished, not under-vaccinated. They need food and clean drinking water. They need soap and water to wash their hands. Imagine drinking the same water that animals poop in and eating maybe 1 meal a day. And we wonder why the people are so sick. They have NO clean drinking water. They have NO food. If anyone truly has a heart to help those in 3rd world countries, please feed the people and give them clean drinking water. They do NOT need vaccines.

By the way, I adopted a child from a third world country. The last thing he needed was a vaccine.

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42 thoughts on “International Travel to a 3rd World Country & Vaccines

  1. Excellent. Thank you. Have often wondered about travel and vaccines. Your info is sensible/practical/informative.

    so, I am curious, did you notice, did you actually get any mosquito bites, on travel?

    also, wondering if you have heard of this, there is some B vitamins, which when taken regular, or several months in advance of exposure are thought to absolutely make humans taste nasty to critters. a friend fr Brazil, yrs ago, told me she took some (over in Brazil) as a kid, when they were to take school trips to heavily infested areas, and never once got bit (she was allergic to mosquito bites)

    in past, I have taken B6 routinely for other reasons, and noticed I seldom got bit (now we are talking North America, so not too heavy mosquito problem, but still quite a few at times)
    and, I have read various reports/combination of B vitamins supposed to do same.

    so, am wondering
    have you heard of this
    have you tried this
    if it does work, wouldn’t this be simple enough to handle many mosquito born diseases?

  2. Thanks for all the info, as usual. I have a question- where did/do you learn about natural remedies and immune builders. I have no plans to travel to a 3rd world country anytime soon, but I am working to improve my family’s health and well being, by cutting out processed and junk food, and would like to take the next steps and build up their immune systems or treat ailments at home when possible. Do you have any books or websites to recommend? Thanks!

  3. It’s too bad you didn’t do this post two weeks ago! My husband is going to Mali for two weeks on Monday with a Christian organization to help set up schools there. And he has been told that he can’t get into Mali without getting the yellow fever vaccine (I didn’t really believe that, but he did), and he got it. Plus he has started taking the malaria medication (also against what I told him about keeping safe in other ways).

    Even though generally he doesn’t believe in vaccination, he easily caves in when doctors tell him that it is required…….. it drives me nuts.

  4. Excellent information, and a great medicine cabinet you have… only would include two more things…. aloa vera gel for when you have skin problems/sunburn and coconut oil as a natural insect repellent/sunscreen and general skin health promoter… keep sharing! God is our greatest treasure!

    • How did I forget to mention coconut oil? Yes, oh yes. We traveled with a huge tub of it. I just added it to the blog post, thanks for commenting. God surely is our greatest treasure!

  5. Great post! As a missionary LIVING in a third world country (Amazon jungle in Brazil), we get asked these questions often. Both of my children (ages 3 years and 8 months) are 100% vaccine free… and we get called crazy. But we do preventative care and natural supplements and they are by far the healthiest kids around. In fact, we were just Stateside for a week and a half and they both got great reports at the pedi after a year abroad. Of course the glory goes to God, but He is also the one who gives us wisdom to make wise choices regarding our health.

    Thanks for the info in this post. There are several things on your list that I didn’t know about and will be researching and implementing. Your sister, Harmony, sent us a ton of great supplements and oils before we moved last year and they have been put to great use!

    And a big AMEN! to your comment about the real physical need being clean water and nutritious food. That is one of our main goals (in terms of meeting physical needs) down here. We provide water filtration systems and seeds to help the Indigenous peoples become self-sustaining. We have never injected one person with a vaccine, but we can tell story after story of lives changed through clean water and good food.

    Keep preachin’, sister! :)

  6. I am so grateful for this post. I have not traveled to a 3rd world country but have great desires to one day do so. I agree with you more than I can express, that the people in those countries need food, clean water and sanitation education. makes me so mad that they get the “help” that doesn’t help.

  7. I have not traveled to a third world country but I like to build up immunity before flu season when traveling by airplane. We are flying out of state next week and I have been taking colloidal silver and astragalus root to keep well on our trip. My husband said colloidal silver is not safe and can turn your skin blue. A brief google search would seem to agree with this. Do you have an opinion on this? Is it really safe to take?

    • I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give medical advice. But I will say that our entire family takes colloidal silver (even our young children) when needed, and we are not blue :) We have found colloidal silver to be safe and a powerful antibiotic, so I’m not surprised it’s considered “unsafe” by an industry that is threatened by anything they cannot make money off of.

      • hi, re colloidal silver, hearing industry claim it is unsafe is rather deceptive of them..seriously. I believe, from an article I have read here and there, that the “industry” is fast researching and implementing ways to use it themselves (likely trying to attach patents to this)..I do know I have, in the past few yrs read many articles to this effect.

        also, as a “point of proof” of industries use/interst
        My sister is undergoing cancer treatment (all conventional of course, and if one even suggests something akin to “natural” to go along even with it, she as good as throws a blanket on you)..

        so anyway, after the surgery, from what I could gather, it was not healing well, showing some infection. she lives in a very small city, and there the cancer patients go routinely to the health clinic to get bandages changed/checked, as well as surgery/treatment/etc in larger city further away.

        so, she went to one of her local clinic check ups (as she was saying to me), and the nurse noticed there was continued problem with some “minor” infection. The cancer bandage nurse, says to her, “Oh they have put on the wrong bandages, we will put the right ones on, and order your own set in” (something like that)

        so my sister enquired what was different about these bandages…

        OMG

        They were a special patented bandage, impregnated with………………………………………….colloidal silver………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        the Cancer Bandage nurse assured her they would completely take care of any infection, and as far as I know, they did.

  8. Hi, I really appreciate this post. My wife and I are moving to Uganda in a few weeks and we really don’t want to use malaria medication. We were excited about the idea of using the black walnut & wormwood and licorice root, but since we will be there long term we weren’t sure what to do. The side effects listed for these are saying they aren’t good to take for more than a month, so we were a little hesitant to try and go with them. Any thoughts? We would definitely love to go the natural way as much as possible. Thanks so much!

  9. I am preparing for a 2 month trip to volunteer in a babies home in Kampala, Uganda!

    Please share more specifically how much of each supplement you took per day (3 drops/ glass of water one time per day? Or take in every bottle of water you drank? Etc.)
    Will plastic water bottles affect the oils or supplements that you are adding to your water?

    Did you also use bug repellants? If so, what do you recommend? Im looking for a natural, safe alternative that WORKS!

    Also, how did you manage to get all of those liquid bottles in your carry on? I’m concerned about packing them in checked luggage and my life saving medicine cabinet getting “lost” by the airlines :)

    Please respond if you can, I would greatly appreciate the advice from someone who has experience!!

    Thank you.

    • The bottles will tell you how to use them. It’s a few drops each day. Yes, plastic water bottles worked fine, but obviously a glass water bottle would be better.

      We used catnip for a natural bug repellant. Doesn’t smell great, but it works :)

      We wrapped our big bottles and medicines in bubble wrap and checked them on. I guess you just have to pray they don’t get lost. However, if your liquids are under 4 oz, you can carry them on. We still carried on a lot of our essential oils and small bottles and homeopathics with us, so you don’t have to check everything on.

      What babies home are you going to? I think I might have been there :)

      • I am so thankful for your advice/experience!!
        I will be volunteering at The Bulrushes- Watoto.
        Can. Not. Wait. (I’ve dreamed of going since I was a little girl and hope to one day adopt an African baby.)

        I’ve been hesitant about vaccines for this trip- this is something I’m definitely praying about as far as what to or not to do, but I really like seeing the information you’ve shared. I’m currently leaning towards zero vaccines.

        How expensive are the yellow fever cards? …want to get rid of one of your extras?! ;)

        I’d love any tips you’d like to share about your favorite place(s) to buy groceries, eat out, etc. Please share if you have the time to.

      • You can get a yellow fever card for free at any certified yellow fever vaccination place. I’m guessing you could just tell them you need one to bring to your doctor for a medical exemption. Do you have a doctor who will give you a medical exemption?

      • It won’t let me reply below, but I do not even have a MD who I use regularly.
        I see a nutritionist about once a month, eat really well, and rarely need a doctor. (He suggested sarsparilla to prevent malaria- have you heard of this?)
        I’m checking with him Monday to see if this is something he is certified to do. If he says no maybe he will know of a MD who can help.

        I thought of getting the card like you mentioned, I will try that next week.

      • I would be happy to send you a yellow fever card, but it won’t do any good without a doctor who will sign the exemption part. Let me know if you can find a doctor and I will send you one.

        I have not heard of sarsparilla. Did you look it up?

        You are going to fall in love with Uganda! I sure did :)

      • Very true! I will let you know, thank you.
        I did look up sarsparilla- I’ve been researching all of this which is how I came across your site.
        It is used as a blood purifier. It also supports the liver and protects cells. He has a friend who recommended this to several of his patients and it worked for them. Apparently China and a few other countries use this for malaria.
        I really like the black walnut & wormwood idea though- killing parasites would be the goal!

        How did you use the catnip? Essential oils..? I found a spray online that has catnip, corn mint, and rosemary oils combined with vegetable glycerin. Supposedly the vegetable glycerin helps the formula last longer- up to 8 hrs.
        I tend to forget to re apply.. So a longer lasting formula would be nice!

        I also read that peppermint and garlic capsules taking will keep the bugs away. We are testing out eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint oil added to my water everyday to see if my skin starts to smell a bit different.. so this would naturally repel insects.
        Maybe I’m going a little overboard?!? One thing is sure: Im sure I will smell REALLY nice once the garlic and catnip are added to this potion! Haha!!

  10. I feel so blessed to find this post. I am planning on traveling to Uganda for a week in November. As I looked into Visa requirements for Uganda, I noticed that they require a Yellow Fever Vaccination. After reading your post, now I really don’t want to get an immunization but I want to make sure that I am able to get into the country. You mentioned that the two times you have been to Uganda they did not ask you for yellow fever vaccination proof. Do you think this is the norm? Do you think I would make it through safely with no proof of vaccination?

    Also, on a side note, I grew up in a family with 8 children. Growing up in such a large family was such a blessing and so much fun. I’m sure you feel the same way!

    Thanks so much!

  11. Our son(a Pastor)is going to Sierra Leone, Africa. Thank you SO much for your post. Can you tell me how many drops of the Licorice and Wormwood you took and how many times a day? He will be there for 2weeks. Did you do peroxide in your water or was bottled water readily available?

    • We had bottled water ready available. I still put a few drops of colloidal silver in it just for extra protection.

      The bottles of licorice and wormwood will tell you how to use it each day.

      Hope this helps!

      Blessings!
      Jessica

  12. Hi Jessica,

    Thank you so much for being there for us! We are expats living in Lagos, Nigeria, and find your site a wonderful source of info.
    My son, 2.5 years old son, already got malaria 4 months ago and had to give him meds. I am quite upset about him being pumped with meds, therefore learned from your advice and bought liquorice, black walnut and coloidal silver, exactly the ones you mentioned. Please may I kindly ask you which is the quantity we should use? How many drops of liquorice and walnut? I saw there are some debates on the liquorice extract, in the way that we need to be careful with the quantities used for kids.
    I also saw a comment about B-complex vitamins against mosquitos. This is a very old preventive treatment used in my own country (romania) almost 100 years ago when malaria was the most dangerous and common illness spread along the delta danube. However I do not find anymore that B-vit which gives that nasty bitter taste anymore. I started to use citronella as house fragrance. ;-)

    I read your comment about the vaccination. How true it is! Living here I can tell you they make nasty experiments on poor black kids. It is so inhuman!!!

    Thank you so much,
    Oana

    • The bottles of licorice root, black walnut, and colloidal will tell you how to use them in both adults and children.

      So sad what we do to children in Third World Countries :(

      Good for you for knowing better!

  13. Hi there Gianelloni family,

    I loved this blog you have posted and I wanted to ask you a question:

    My wife and 2 young boys are leaving for Africa (Malawi) in 7 weeks time. We have been stocking up on essential oils and building our immune systems with various probiotics, nutritious food etc. I was wanted to know:

    1. Have you taken your kids to 3rd world countries and if so what precautions did you take with them specifically (if different to your above comments) so they who be safe.

  14. I spent 3 months in Mozambique and didn’t take malaria medicine. I used some precaution natural & homemade bug spray but mostly sleeping under a mosquito net. Some say tt wear lift colored long sleeves to bed too but it was way to hot. I got bites, more so from being outside after dark, but not malaria.

    They also say that that black walnut & wormwood are natural parasite killers. But you have to be careful if you’re pregnant or nursing, I don’t think they are safe to use.

    Great info & have to say I used many of these same things when my family, 3 small kids, were in Africa for 3 months.

  15. Just the information I needed. I’m really wanting to go on a mission trip to Uganda this summer but one of my big hang ups was the yellow fever vaccination. This is really helpful info. Also good to know about the tinctures for Malaria. I will pick those up the next time I’m at the store. Many of the other items you mentioned I already use, which confirms I’m on the right track. ;)

  16. Hi,
    Please help!

    My family is going to Malawi in 2 weeks and we originally has the wormwood and licorice root for anti-Malaria however my wife is 20 weeks pregnant and she cannot take it.
    Do you know anything she can take during pregnancy??

  17. Do you have any info specifically about typhoid, tetanus, and hep A? My husband is traveling to Haiti soon and I’m looking for alternatives to vaccines. Do you think that the above mentioned supplements will cover these as well?

    • Yes! I would also suggest immupower and parafree (both YL). Hep A is best prevented by drinking clean food and water.

      I personally would NEVER get the typhoid vaccine. And tetanus vaccine is worthless.

  18. I’ve ordered a set of the yellow fever cards with the intent of going to my PCP for an exemption. However, I just re-read this post and it says the doctor’s exemption letter must also “bearing the stamp used by the yellow fever vaccination centers to validate the ICVP”. So does that mean that I will have to go to a ‘travel medicine’ clinic after all? Just curious how your doctor had access to this. Thanks in advance.

  19. Thank you for sharing. Your blogs are fascinating! I share and refer to them all the time. I appreciate the tremendous effort this all must just take! Keep up the awesome job.

  20. Great information once again. I love the way you persevere and don’t give in. I’m wondering how you got Solomon into the country without vaccines. I understand there is a form and a process, but it seemed like a very difficult long shot when I was reading about it.

  21. Hi,
    This is a fantastic post, thank you! Could you please tell me if there are any alterations to this method that you would make for travelling with an infant? I will be going to Cambodia for three months with my 6 month old and am anxious to find safe natural ways of protecting him, especially as it will be monsoon season. Also do you know if any of these products affect breastfeeding?
    Thank you!

    • You will need to research everything you put into your body in regards to breastfeeding and infants. Each of the products I’ve mentioned will have their own safety information.

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