What you must have in your First Aid Kit

When you travel into Africa you should always have a well-kitted first aid kit. Apart from special medication needs like chronic medicines for adults and paediatric medicines for children there are a few basic things that should be in every first aid kit. If you already have a first aid kit for travelling, don’t forget that medicines have a limited shelflife. Check the ‘use by’ date on each pack, and, if necessary ask your pharmacist for advice to ensure the contents of your kit remain effective and safe to use.

If you are travelling into remote areas, you are strongly advised to do a course in first aid before you leave.

Your first aid kit should contain at least the following, but you can add medicine according to your travel party’s personal needs:

  • 1 x Quicklot trauma pack
  • 2 x Plastic SP Joints Stabilisers
  • 2 x Dressings
  • 3 x Bandages
  • 2 x Gauze swabs
  • 1 x Triangular bandages
  • 2 x Conforming bandages
  • Cotton wool
  • 2 x Gauze
  • 1 x Sterile dressing
  • 1 x Sterile dressing pad
  • 2 x Eye pads
  • 1 x Sterile eye pad
  • 1 x Eyebath
  • 1 x Eye patch
  • 2 x Big sterile trauma hydrogel burn dressing
  • 1 x Small sterile trauma hydrogel burn dressing
  • 1 x Roll clear Elastoplast
  • 6 x Plasters
  • Respirator mouthpiece
  • 6 x Rehydrate packets
  • Antiseptic ointment (e.g. Bactroban)
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Antacid for heartburn and stomach acid
  • Antihistamines
  • Laxatives
  • Imodium for mild diarrhoea
  • A broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Painkillers with aspirin or paracetamol and anti-inflammatories
  • Skin-disinfecting agent or antiseptic wipes
  • Water purification tablets
  • Gloves, scissors, tweezers and safety-pins
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Malaria test kits
  • Anti Malarial prophylactics
  • Tablets for Malaria treatment
  • Separate antibiotic courses for serious chest and stomach infections (check that none of your party is allergic to these medicines as this can prove fatal).

Having your own syringes, sterile needles and possibly scalpels will help if you have to undergo treatment at a place where you doubt the hygiene.

4 thoughts on “What you must have in your First Aid Kit”

  1. Do you know of any SA based companies that provide ready made kits for this type of trip

    1. You can find ready-made first aid kits from companies such as Drifters and Nav World.

    1. Hi Michelle, the list is still valid. When it comes to medical insurance, check with your medical aid if you are covered in the countries you intend traveling as well as what sort of cover you have. Emergency evacuation is something you need to have.

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