Hazards, health and safety

There is a range of potential hazards associated with working at an African research centre. You will receive an orientation on field health and safety upon arrival and will be asked to sign an indemnity form. Orientation topics covered will include what to do in an emergency, how to behave when encountering different wildlife, procedures to undertake in a snake bite incident, insect hazards onsite, and how to avoid and prevent problems.

The most likely hazards you will encounter in the Alldays Area are people, travelling and wildlife. Alldays is a racially sensitive area where poverty and unemployment is prevalent. Thus, underlying conflict is present between the privileged white and underprivileged black communities. There are many potholes on the roads, and speeding and overtaking is prevalent along the 2-lane roads in the area. With regards to wildlife, you will be working in areas with big game species, including leopard and Cape buffalo. In addition, venomous snakes, ticks, scorpions and other biting and stinging insects are present at the field site. Phobias of snakes, spiders and other insects would pose a problem for assistants and make participation in this experience uncomfortable or impossible.

Malaria

Alldays is not currently in a malarial zone, but there have been a number of local cases recorded recently. It is therefore up to you whether you want to take prophylactics. Nearby areas such as Kruger National Park are within malarial zones, so do bear this in mind if you would like to visit these areas.

A current malarial map of South Africa can be found at: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/south-africa/south-africa-malaria-map.aspx

Vaccinations

No inoculations are compulsory for South Africa, but you are advised to get Hepatitis A and B vaccinations for your visit. If you are entering South Africa directly after visiting a yellow fever infected country, be aware that you may be asked for proof of immunisation upon arrival. Although rabies vaccinations are recommended by some doctors, it is only essential if you are handling animals. This will not be the case at the research centre.

Drug use

The possession of drugs is a very serious offence in South Africa and vehicles are often searched for drugs at roadblocks. Drug use is not tolerated at the Wildlife and Communities Wildlife Research Centre, and will result in immediate removal from the premises.

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