Malaria and malaria tablets 10 month old

Hi everyone I will be moving to Kenya in December and my son will be 10 months old. We may go to the coast Mombasa. Our paediatrician recommended to take malarial prophylaxis 2 days before we go to Mombasa and then 7 days after. I'm not so keen as I find maybe the tablets to be too strong for such a young baby.

Any advice from those of you who live there and have taken young babies to areas in Kenya where malaria is high what you would do?


We took our granddaughter to Mombasa when she was two years old.  We were given a paediatric malaria prophylaxis for her, which were OK for the week or so that we were there.  Otherwise, she has never taken malaria prophylaxis, as they aren't great for the long term.  Instead we took precautions such as using a mosquito net, closing windows and doors at dusk and dressing her in long sleeved garments if we went out in the evening.

The risk of contracting malaria in Nairobi is fairly low, due to the altitude, but precautions should be taken.

I'm sorry to inform you that you are going to find yourself between a rock and a hard place... Certainly, Mombasa is one of the most riskiest destinations when it comes to malaria in Kenya. And the medications prescribed for prevention of malaria are quite strong even for adult people. Myself, I was taking anti-malaria pills diligently while visiting Kenya for the first time in 2007. For the record, I am 57 years old now, so in 2007 I was 48 years old. However, I fell sick in Kenya that year of 2007 due to immunity levels going to low = precisely because of the malaria pills I was taking! Go figure... Lol :)

Since then, I usually have malaria pills with me, in case the sickness strikes, but I am not taking them until I actually have malaria - tphu, tphu, tphu, it hasn't happened yet! Whoaaaa!!!.. And I haven't been sick in Kenya since 2007, although I stayed in Kenya from 2009 up to 2012, even I am visiting Kenya since then at least once-in-a-year.

Therefore, summing it all up: 1) it is important to be prepared for malaria by HAVING malaria pills with you, in case you find  yourself in need; and 2) not taking malaria pills on a daily basis, if you don't need them, since it is REDUCING your natural immunity-power when you are not sick.

That said, I understand that you need to make your own decisions for your baby... Which is not easy. If it was me, I would see if I could postpone my trip to Kenya at least for one year, until my baby is more than 1 year old. Hope, this helps - the main point of my contradictory post is that you need to maintain a balance. And it is usually tough to maintain a balance as a parent... Good luck! :)

Our granddaughter started visiting Kenya from age 4 months (which I failed to expand on, above).  As long as you take the precautions that I have outlined, I think that the risk is fairly low, but then we also lived in Nairobi and Thika.

You could take the ultra cautious approach of postponing your move, but I think that only waiting for a year won't make much difference.  I think that you would make it 2 - 3 years!

I didn't get whether you want to settle in Mombasa, or visit there.  For living there, it wouldn't be healthy for your son (or you) to be on long term prophylaxis.  What people do here is medicate if and when malaria is contracted, as well as taking the precautions, such as netting, closing windows and so on.  I don't think that you would have to bring medication with you - malaria testing kits and medication are readily available.

The alternative may be to consider Nairobi, or the central highlands for example, until your son is older and more robust, but even then, long term malaria prophylaxis would not be good.

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