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Health Matters

Health Matters
Do I need any kind of vaccinations?

It is the requirement of Saudi Ministry of Health that all visitors should have a valid vaccination certificate against Meningococcal Meningitis The certificate must have been issued not more than three years and not less than 10 days before arrival in Saudi Arabia.

All travelers arriving from countries known to be infected with yellow fever (as shown in the World Health Organization [WHO] Weekly Epidemiological Record) must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate in accordance with the International Health Regulations.

Where do I go if I am ill? Are there any hospitals in Makkah?

There are many hospitals which provide free healthcare for pilgrims.

Are over-the-counter medicines available in Makkah? Where do I buy them?

Most over-the-counter medicine is available at pharmacies in Makkah. If you are used to a particular brand of medicine or if you take prescribed medication, it is recommended you bring adequate supplies of these.

Ministry of Health (Saudi Arabia)

The Ministry of Health plays a principal role in extending Hajj services. More than two million pilgrims assemble at various Hajj sites. Despite their different nationalities and backgrounds they are equal before Allah Almighty on this great Hajj occasion. The Ministry of Health is responsible for following up their health condition during Hajj season. The following measures help to achieve this end:

a) Stipulating the health conditions that should be satisfied by pilgrims and the type of food they are allowed to carry. Their countries and the World Health Organization are informed of these conditions, which may require the inoculation of all or some of the pilgrims against certain diseases and the presentation of inoculation certificates at entry points.

b) Coordination with the Municipalities of the Holy Capital and Al Madinah Al Munawwarah as well as the Water and Sewage Departments to appoint supervision teams to inspect environment and general hygiene at the Hajj sites. They also supervise water sources, sewage drainage and efforts aimed at combating insects.

c) The implementation of wide-scale health education programs in pilgrims’ countries and at Hajj sites. The programs deal with health precautions to be taken, particularly in case of sunstrokes and contagious diseases. Prevention methods are also highlighted.

d) Early in Shaaban every year, the Ministry of Health launches disease prevention campaigns, including the inoculation of personnel at Hajj sites. More than thirteen epidemic investigation teams are operating in hospitals, primary health care centers, various Hajj sites and the two Holy Cities.

e) The implementation of intensive multi-language education programs to explain to pilgrims how to avoid diseases and how to react in case of illness, particularly sunstrokes and heat exhaustion.

f) Organization of tours by the Ministry’s environment sanitation teams to regularly inspect food stores, drinking water sources and pilgrim residences to verify the application of the specified conditions. And ensure the spraying of insecticides and removal of garbage.

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