Health Tips For Pilgrims Before Travelling For Hajj

The season of Hajj have commenced, and the health and fitness of all pilgrims embarking on this journey should be of great concern. Since the pilgrimage can be quite tasking or termed as "survival for the fittest", then all pilgrims should aim for fitness before travelling for Hajj. Though the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia always provide free healthcare to all pilgrims at the holy places, mobile teams are available in all locations at any time of the day, but you have to be fit as a pilgrim before travelling for the Hajj pilgrimage. Read on, as you get to see some health tips that can come in handy.

Health Tips For Pilgrims Before Travelling For Hajj

Health Tips For Pilgrims As They Embark On Hajj Pilgrimage

Firstly, it s highly recommended for all pilgrims travelling to the Hajjj to undergo a general health check-up with a doctor, to optimize their health and guarantee fitness. But contrary to that, many just go and obtain a certificate of fitness without undergoing a proper check-up. For a pilgrim to make his Hajj experience hassle-free, he or she needs to follow strict health advisories from Hajj commitees. This is to allow him or her get acquainted with preventive procedures and necessary vaccinations.  

Another sad report is that many pilgrims do skip vaccinations, and they use influence to acquire the certificates without actually being vaccinated. But morally and religiously, such attitude is bad because it predisposes them to health risks and may deprive such a fellow from performing Hajj rituals. If any pilgrim is suffering from chronic ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, asthma, kidney problems etc, and is on medication, he or she should visit his or her doctor for a complete medical check-up and receive enough medications (or instructions) to cover the entire Hajj period. It is also wise to bring a current medical report and information on medication preferably in generic names, since the names of drugs in KSA differs from other countries.

A very common health issue during Hajj is respiratory tract infection, it is responsible for most illness and hospital admissions during the pilgrimage. This is because of the close contacts among pilgrims, as well as the overcrowding, so the potential for transmission of the infection is invariably high. Pilgrims that are affected with such ailments can be a source of spreading he infection to unaffected ones. Although vaccination program for influenza is being carried out, other ailments like cough, sore throat, fever, stuffy nose, muscle aches, and pains are commonly seen amongst pilgrims.

With the popular saying "prevention is better than cure", pilgrims should avoid spitting on the ground. Apart from it being a disgusting sight, it is also a dangerous means of spreading infections and diseases.  Do not liter the streets, instead use trash cans and waste bins. To avoid the spread of infectious disease, also make use of the toilets for defecation and urination, also keep them clean after usage.

Pilgrims also need to be aware of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. It is not yet clear how individuals are being exposed to MERS coronavirus, te causative agent of MERS. Common human coronaviruses usually cause upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like common cold, which last for a short amount of time. Symptoms of the infection may include; cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, and pneumonia. Occurrences of person-to-person spread do happen among healthcare workers and other close contacts of people suffering from MERS.

Prevention measures that should be carried out among pilgrims is that they should cover their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throw away the used tissue in a waste bin and not along the road side. This is to avoid contact with other people to prevent infection. Some other key notable tips are:
  • Frequent use of masks
  • Frequent washing of hands
  • Avoid using other people's personal belongings
  • Drink large amount of liquids (avoid ice cold drinks)
  • Do not use antibiotic without the instruction of a physician.

Another issue that is common during Hajj is dehydration. To avoid this, pilgrims should try to minimize unnecessary movements in hot weather. If indeed you want to move, try as much as possible to make use of an umbrella and take lots of fluid. It is even advisable you always move with a personal bottle of water.

Sometimes, simple things can have a greater effect during Hajj if not properly taken care of on time. It can even deprive an individual of performing Hajj. If one member is sick, the whole group suffers, in many cases relatives are forced to leave the pilgrim behind and proceed to completion of their own Hajj rituals. To avoid such ordeal among individuals or the entire group, pilgrims should see their doctors before travelling to prevent chances of harbaouring a problem which can get complicated during Hajj. An example of such ailment is Hernia. A Hernia patient should be operated months before Hajj, because with a fresh operation wound he or she might find it difficult to complete Hajj rituals.

Another ailment that can occur during Hajj is Pile, which can be attributed to change in dietary habits. It may complicate and get out of the anal canal and start bleeding or get trapped tightly, causing severe pain. A simple operation few months before travelling for Hajj can avoid this problem. Pilgrim suffering early pile should avoid constipation by taking mild laxatives and also modifying their diets.

Aches and pains are caused by dehydration and exertion, and they can be very painful especially if a patient is suffering kidney stones. Avoid getting yourself dehydrated by drinking plenty of water. Elderly pilgrims who are having prostatic problems should go along with their medicines, Diabetic pilgrims should avoid walking bare footed.

 Having diarrhoea in a mass gathering just like Hajj is a potential health hazard because you will not feel comfortable as an individual. Many factors such as unhealthy foods can contribute to this. To maintain safety, ensure that he food you eat is hygienic, utensils are clean and also your hands are clean. Dispose any food remnants that have changed colour, taste or smell.

Combinations of certain drugs are not available in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so you should travel with adequate quantity (not exceeding personal use), so as to avoid authorities from stopping you from carrying medications. Some useful over-the-counter drugs you should travel along with are anti-diarrheal, oral rehydration packets, cough syrups and anti-allergic tablets. Other drugs you can travel along with to Hajj also includes; antacids, anti-vomiting medicines, laxatives, paracetamol, and some commn antibiotics.

Carrying Narcotics and addictive drugs is highly prohibited. Drug trafficking is a serious offense in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and it attracts capital punishment. However, pilgrims are advised to read and follow the health advisory and take all the precautions announced through the media by the Ministry Of Health and Hajj of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Contact your state or local health department for further enquiries. The address, contact information of the Medical mission of state/country should be readily available with every pilgrim.
Health Tips For Pilgrims Before Travelling For Hajj Health Tips For Pilgrims Before Travelling For Hajj Reviewed by Chibuzor Aguwa on Saturday, July 29, 2017 Rating: 5

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