Mount Kilimanjaro climbing climbers might encounter some challenges
during climbing on health issues. On your arrival it is recommended
that you have a day in Moshi or Arusha town for the acclimatization
of weather as well as resting from jet lag before attempting Kilimanjaro.
There are numerous health issues while climbing Kilimanjaro as
listed below and majority of them are due to the change of altitude
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
Mountain Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness normally
occurs on the high altitude such as Gilman's Point, Stella Point
or on the Summit of Kilimanjaro. The record shows that more than
80% of Mount Kilimanjaro climber suffers from this illness but
they recover and make it to the top. For those who get serious
illness the only proper cure is to descent to at least 600 m from
the point you are. The symptoms of the illness include reduced
urine output, nausea, anorexia, headaches, rapid pulse, insomnia,
swelling of the hands and feet.
Regularly the avoidance of this situation is by far to reduce
the pace of your trekking from the first day, eating as much as
you can since altitude change tend to reduce appetite completely
as well as drinking much water 3 to 4 liters per day including
hot drinks such as chocolate, coffee or tea. While trekking with
us we feed you much to make sure that you have enough energy.
Along with all the natural precaution also preventative medicine
(such as Diamox) is available and you should consult your physician
for specialist advice. Fluid build-up may cause a situation known
as edema, which can affect the lungs, preventing effective oxygen
exchange, or affect the brain (cerebral) which will result in
the swelling of the brain tissue. When this situation occurs immediately
ask for assistance from our guide as we always trek with oxygen
kit to take care of such circumstance.
The hypothermia illness is a situation whereby
your body fails to generate a proper temperature during climbing
Mount Kilimanjaro. Regularly Mount Kilimanjaro weather change
and covering of mist and rain is a common thing. If it happens
that a climber's clothes get wet his/her body is likely to be
unstable on temperature stability. As mountaineers we are aware
of this and before trekking we always countercheck your climbing
gear to avoid inconveniences like this. Common gear like raincoat
is a mandate to have it even if isn't a rain season as on Kilimanjaro
it rains anytime.
Treatment of this illness is simple but should not be undermined.
Remove all the wet clothes and wear dry warm clothes. If the fire
is light up for cooking then you can stay around for some few
minutes for stabilization and thereafter retire as it might ruin
your acclimatization of climbing weather. The other more proper
solution but takes time is by sleeping in a sleeping bag with
your colleague who hasn't experience the same problem.
Sun related injuries
About 55% of the earth's protective atmosphere
is below an altitude of 5000m. Far less ultraviolet light is being
filtered out, making the sun's rays much more powerful, which
could result in severe sun burning of the skin. It is strongly
recommended to use a 20+ sun protection cream at lower altitudes,
and a total block cream above an altitude of 3000m.Wearing sun
glass when in Kilimanjaro especially places with snow or ice is
highly recommended. Basically the sunshine at the top of Kilimanjaro
in the morning makes the Kili ice shinning much and will bring
to snow blindness. Snow blindness is a painful thing and might
require your eyes to be bandaged for sometime.