Yellow Fever

When travelling to Uganda, a yellow fever certificate is like a second passport. This is because of how deadly this disease can be for its sufferers.

Yes, you want to travel, explore and live your best life while being safe in all ways. Health is important, especially when travelling to a different country and region. Uganda is very keen on yellow fever vaccinations for every individual that is entering the country.

In this article, we are going to look at yellow fever (in a casual everyday person way) and by the end, you will be well-informed on the seriousness of the disease and why you need to get immunized. Let’s start by understanding what yellow fever is.

What Is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes that belong to the Aedes and Haemogogus species which breed in both domestic and wild habitats.

In May 2019, the Ministry of Health Uganda confirmed to the World Health Organization an outbreak of yellow fever in the Northern and Central regions of Uganda, this is just a number on the long list of reasons why keen attention to yellow fever vaccination of all visitors is prioritized and highly enforced.

There are three forms of yellow fever;

  1. Sylvatic yellow fever.
    This is common in tropical rainforests that inhabit these kinds of mosquitoes. They feed on primates in the forests and eventually pass this on to the humans in and or the surrounding areas. Visitors who wish to tour places like Bwindi and Mabira forests are highly likely to be bitten by infected mosquitoes.
  2. Intermediate yellow fever.
    This is transmitted by semi-domestic mosquitoes (they breed in both wild and domestic places) that infect both monkeys and people.
  3. Urban yellow fever.
    This occurs when infected persons enter heavily populated with many Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. Transmission here spreads much faster and puts the lives of so many people at risk.

Symptoms of Yellow Fever

The virus remains dormant in the body for about 3-6 days. The first phase of acceleration is characterized by muscle painsfeverloss of appetiteshiversnausea and vomiting. However, in some cases, it gets worse with very high fever, abdominal pains and vomiting as well as bleeding from the nose, eyes and mouth. In such extreme cases, it leads to kidney failure and eventual death within 10 to 14 days.

With the initial symptoms, Yellow fever can be mistaken for other diseases like malaria or typhoid. It can only be identified by a laboratory analysis and blood tests conducted by a very highly trained laboratory officer using special equipment.

In 2017, the Ministry of Health signed a Memoranda of Undertaking with 21 health facilities to administer Yellow fever vaccines to international travellers. This was a result of the analysis that proved quite many travellers presenting fake vaccination cards and thus putting themselves, Ugandans and their home people at very high risk.

The health facilities include KCCA Clinic Kampala, Nakasero Hospital, Norvik Hospital, International Medical Centre, and others upcountry. So, if you are planning to stay in Uganda for a longer period, be sure to access any of these health facilities to be vaccinated. These are the accredited facilities with authentic authority and cards printed by the one body with the right to print vaccination cards; the Ministry of Health.


There is no cure for yellow fever. Medical treatment is focused on treating the symptoms. Prevention is the safest bet with a single dose protecting you all your life.

There are vaccination exemptions. These groups of people should not be vaccinated for yellow fever because of the likely risks involved. If you are one of these or have some questions, you should consult with a doctor before going to take the vaccination shots.

  • Infants (9 months and less).
  • Pregnant women.
  • People with severe immunodeficiency due to HIV/AIDS.
  • Severe allergies to egg protein.

Otherwise, protection against this deadly fever disease is to take the vaccination shot.

Uganda abides by the International Health Regulations (IHR) to be presented with a Certificate of vaccination against yellow fever for all international visitors. The IHR is a regulatory body to stop the spread of infectious diseases.

This was effected from 11 July 2016 to provide a vaccination certificate for every individual that takes the shot 10 days after it has been done. Before you travel to Uganda and you have never had this shot, ensure to do so and protect yourself.

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