Living in Rwanda: How to Stay Healthy in Central Africa


Rwanda for expats

In the Spring Edition of Your Health Matters, we asked our customers and readers to get in touch to be in with a chance of winning a Fitbit® Flex™. The winner of this competition was John Kaczor, who has been living as an expat in Rwanda.

We are delighted to share here John's winning entry; where he told us about his life abroad, and shared some very insightful tips!

“Living in a lesser developed part of the world requires constant innovation, adaptation and flexibility. Staying healthy is difficult enough in a developed country, with easy access to healthcare professionals, medicines, health food and fitness opportunities.” 

Rwanda offers challenges such as the threat of malaria, limited access to skilled physicians, sometimes uncertain food quality, and language barriers that make finding even simple medications a challenge.” 

John suggests adopting some key practices for staying healthy and fit in Rwanda:

"To stay healthy and fit, we have adopted some key practices, including:
> Use mosquito nets when sleeping, cover windows with screens, keep doors closed when mosquitoes are active, and apply repellent as needed 
> Hire a trusted local to make purchases at the local market, to ensure food quality and lower prices 
> Drink filtered water; wash produce with filtered water
> Keep first aid supplies handy; clean wounds immediately with antiseptic wash (not unfiltered water) 
> Create a fitness routine using available resources, including simple calisthenics, walking/hiking/jogging, low impact isometric exercises, and body weight exercises 
> Avoid activities that could cause injury that would be difficult to treat.

Using these basic strategies, we have managed to stay healthy, get fit, have fun and avoid major health issues."

This article was featured on our Cigna Global customer magazine, Your Health Matters - Summer Edition 2016

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