Stuart R. Rose, MD, the author of The International Travel Health Guide, founded Travel Medicine, Inc. in 1989. Dr. Rose was educated at Amherst College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is board certified in emergency medicine and internal medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. 

Dr. Rose is the Director of the Travel Medicine Center of Western Massachusetts in Northampton and attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Noble Baystate Hospital in Westfield, Massachusetts. He is a member of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the International Society of Travel Medicine. TheInternational Travel Health Guide is available online at

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro?

Dear Traveler,

Summiting a mountain as high as Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft.) is an exhilarating experience—but potentially dangerous. Even if you are in excellent physical condition, you are at risk for:

  • Acute mountain sickness (AMS)
  • High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE)
  • High-altitude cerebral edema (HACE)

You may have read news reports that in 2010, Martina Navratilova, who was leading a charity climb, was stricken with HAPE at 15,000 ft. altitude and had to be urgently evacuated.

To help avoid such problems, let me counsel you prior to your trip. I have summited Kilimanjaro twice, most recently in 2012. I will:

  • Review your itinerary. Short (5-day) round trips are the most risky. You can choose an 8- or 9-day itinerary, which allows more time to acclimatize.
  • Medications. I will review the cause and symptoms of altitude illness and prescribe the necessary drugs that can help prevent/treat these disorders. I will tell you what symptoms demand immediate descent.
  • Clothing: Having the proper clothing is essential. I will tell how I dressed for the climb and give you my suggestions about clothing and equipment.
  • Nutrition: Having sufficient food is critical. Loss of appetite is common. I will suggest some supplements to bring with you.
  • Hygiene: The toilet facilities are generally crude. There’s no hot water and toilet paper may be missing. Let me advise what hygienic supplies to bring.
  • Diarrhea: You need to bring an antibiotic to treat travelers’ diarrhea, should it occur. I will also prescribe an anti-nausea drug.
  • Malaria: If you are traveling directly to Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park from the local airport and returning home immediately after your trip, you probably don’t need anti-malaria medication. However, if you are going on safari afterwards, I will discuss insect-bite prevention and prescribe anti-malarial medication.

I see clients between 10 am and 4 am. I can usually schedule an appointment
within 2-7 days. After-hours and weekend appointments are possible.

Feel free to call me on my mobile phone: 413-219-7949