Consult Your Doctor 6-8 Weeks Before Departure
He will advise you and arrange vaccinations (some of these can
take time to become effective). He can also issue the
certificate you need.
Tell your doctor if you are taking your children with you.
This is particularly important if they have not had their full
course of childhood immunization. Special consideration may
have to be given to children who have not been vaccinated
Get your doctors advice if you have any illness. Take
enough supply of your medicine with you.
Four Weeks Before Departure:
Typhoid Injection - if you have not had it in the last
three years. (You can have capsules if you prefer).
Tetanus Injection - if you have not had it in the last 10
years. If your have never had them, you will need a full
course of three.
Polio Drops- if you have not had them in the last 10
years. If you have never had them, you will need a full course
Hepatitis A Injection - first dose will give immunity for
1 year. Second dose 6-12 months after the first dose will give
immunity for 10 years. In children under 16 years, a junior
Injection is available. Dosage same as adults.
Meningitis quadrivalent ACWY Vax - if you have not had it
in the last 3 years 5 years.
Hepatitis B - if your work involves health care.
One Week Before Departure:
Start taking Malaria tablets if necessary, while abroad
and for four weeks after travel.
In past years, there were outbreaks of Meningococcal
Meningitis W135 infection among the hujjaj. Numerous people
had infection and many died. It is now a requirement that the
Quadrivalent Meningococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine, which
provides protection against A, C, W135, and Y strains, is
administered. Saudi authorities have made this a compulsory
requirement for HAJJ and UMRAH and you will need a
can get malaria, if bitten by an infected mosquito during Hajj
Even if you lived in Africa or Asia you can lose any immunity
after a few years. And if your children were born in
non-Malarial countries, they have no immunity at all. So
heres what to do if you visit a malarial country or even
Ask your doctor about anti-malarial tablets. The dosage
and drugs change from time to time according to the strains of
mosquitoes present in the country you are visiting.
Be aware of risks.
Avoid mosquito bites and carry standby treatment if going
to be far from medical facilities.
Keep arms and legs covered when outdoors after sunset.
Sleep in screened accommodation or use mosquito nets.
Following this advice could prevent serious illness
particularly in children.
your dentist if you will be away for more than a short time
and you have any doubts about your teeth. It may be difficult
and expensive to get treatment where you are going.
should bear in mind that although Saudi authorities have done
and are still doing as much as possible to prevent illness
during Haj, it is simply impossible to do it adequately
because of the sheer number of people. Mecca is a city of
200,000 people and during Hajj, it swells to over a million.
Sanitation, water supply and food supply is stretched over the
limit. The city appears to be bursting at the seams. The heat
is extreme. There is intense overcrowding and a lot of dust.
People come from all walks and cultures. Not all of them can
or do get appropriate accommodation. In Arafat and Mina,
people have to spend time in tents in the deserts.
Consequently, hygiene and sanitation becomes non-existent. It
is therefore very important that people try to maintain the
highest possible standard of hygiene. It can NOT be
substituted for any amount of injections, immunisations,
medicines, vitamins or hospitalisations. It is also very
important to take the following precautions and not lax on it
even if you have taken immunisation injections or medicines.
For next few years Haj will be during winter months. It
can be very cold especially at night. Remember to keep warm.
There is a risk of Pneumonia.
Try and avoid direct heat of the sun by covering yourself
adequately, walking in the shade, doing Ahkaams during the
evening or night, etc. This way you will prevent heat
exhaustion, heat stroke or sunburn.
Drink plenty of clear water. This will prevent you
from getting dehydrated (dry), heat stroke or kidney stones.
Try and avoid sweet drinks (canned or bottled drinks, and
locally brewed fruit juices). Try to drink clean water only,
preferably bottled mineral water.
Do not eat exposed foods. This includes foodstuff
left exposed, fruits which cannot be peeled and meat on the
counter. Try and eat simple food which is self cooked. If food
has to be eaten from shops, restrict yourself to food which
has been prepared (preferably roasted or fried) in front of
you and fruits which look fresh and which can be peeled
(bananas, oranges, etc.). Avoid grapes, peaches, plums,
exposed dates, fresh dates, etc
Vaccinations Are Not Enough To
Take plenty of salt tablets and start taking them as soon
as you arrive in Jeddah. If you cannot get these tablets,
common salt (two tea spoonfuls) is adequate per day. This will
prevent you from losing too much salt through your sweat and
making you feel very weak.
Take something to soothe your throat since sore throats
are very common.
Take something to help your cough, constipation or
Get small supplies of medicines from your doctor for your
own use while you are away. Ask your doctor for details.
Guidance For Women
you feel that you are going to menstruate during Haj, then is
it better to postpone your menstrual period. To achieve this
you must plan to control your menstrual cycle one month in
advance. Please follow these instructions carefully:
On the first day of your last menstrual period commence a
contraceptive pill. You may choose from the following
Microgynon 30, Brevinor, Ovysmen, Marvelon and Ovranette. If
for medical reasons you can not take the contraceptive pill,
then start taking Norethesteron 5mg tablets three times a days
2 days before expected period, continue taking them for as
long as you want to postpone your period. Menstruation will
resume 2 days after stopping.
You must consult your doctor (General Practitioner) before
commencing the pill.
Continue with the pill throughout the duration of the
Consult your doctor (GP) and ask for a supply of
Norethesteron (Primolet N) 5 mg tablets. Take one tablet three
times a day if bleeding commences.
Other drugs such as Provera, Danazol (Danol), etc. may be
prescribed by your doctor and may be effective in stopping
IMPORTANT: On completion of the pilgrimage, stop your
contraceptive pill and you will experience a normal period.
Your normal cycle will resume.
Disease And Precautions
Sore Throat: Avoid cold drinks, over-crowding, dust, contact
with other people with sore throats or cough.
Chest Infection: Avoid dust, overcrowding and contact with
other people with sore throats or coughs.
Heat Exhaustion: (Muscle weakness due to loss of body
salt) Avoid direct heat from the sun. Drink plenty of
water and take salt tablets.
Heat Stroke: Avoid direct heat from the sun. Get medical
help immediately. This is an emergency.
Cholera: Caught by contaminated water or food. Vaccination
does not give protection. Take scrupulous care over food and
Infectious Hepatitis (Jaundice): There is a high risk of
this disease in Haj and Ziarat because of poor sanitation. It
is caught by consuming contaminated food or water or contact
with an infected person. Take scrupulous care over food, drink
and hygiene. Get yourself vaccinated. (Vaccine lasts 1 year or
10 years depending on dose taken).
Malaria: Caught by a bite from an infected mosquito. Take
anti-malaria tablets. Avoid mosquito bites.
Polio: Caught by direct contact with infected person. Take
scrupulous care over food and drink. Get yourself vaccinated.
Tetanus: Risk areas are places where medical facilities
are not available. It is caught by open injury. Wash any wound
thoroughly. Get yourself vaccinated.
Typhoid: Caught by contaminated food, water or milk. Take
scrupulous care over food and drink. Get yourself vaccinated.
(Vaccine lasts three years).
Meningitis: Caught by contact with an infected person.
This is a very serious condition and potentially fatal. Get
yourself vaccinated. (Vaccine lasts 3-5 years).
are five to six small hospitals in Mecca which are
overcrowded. Take health precautions rigidly since the
treatment in the hospitals is not up to standard because of
Have a small first aid kit with you, containing adhesive
dressings, some insect repellent and antiseptic creams and
water sterilisation tablets.
Make sure drinking water, and the water you use for
cleaning your teeth and washing your mouth is clean. Unless
you know it is safe, (bottled water usually is) sterilise your
drinking water. You can do this by boiling your water or by
using sterilisation tablets. Milk should be boiled, before use
unless it is pasteurised or sterilised.
Be careful with these foods:- raw vegetables, salads and
unpeeled fruits, raw shellfish, cream, ice-cream, ice cubes,
underdone meat or fish, uncooked, cold or reheated food. They
are best avoided.
Personal hygiene is vital. Always wash your hands before
eating or handling food.
When you return home, if you become ill, tell your doctor
where you have been.
If in doubt, get in touch with the doctors at Medical
Advisory Board of World Federation in Birmingham.
To avoid heat exhaustion (muscle weakness) please take salt
studies show that long-distance travel may increase the risk
of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in travellers.
Most people with existing medical conditions can fly without
concern. However, passengers who suffer from heart disease,
lung disease, cancer, or have previous or a family history of
DVT, are recommended to seek advice from their GP prior to
flying. Other risk factors include hormone treatment, recent
surgery, recent trauma involving lower limbs and any
abnormalities of blood clotting factors.
Please be assured that most people who fly will experience a
degree of swelling in the feet and ankles, but the more you
move your feet up and down the less is the swelling. Research
indicates that DVT stems from sitting immobile for long
periods, whether in a plane, bus or car. Although the real
risk of DVT remains low, the medical profession believes that
by following a few simple guidelines you will almost certainly
prevent the development of even minor blood clots.
Purchase a pair of elastic compression stockings to wear
for the duration of the flight.
Wear loose and baggy clothing during the flight.
Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to prevent
Stand up in the seat area and stretch arms and legs every
couple of hours.
Avoid crossing legs when seated.
Carry out foot and leg exercises frequently.
Walk around the cabin as often as possible.
Carry-on luggage should not be kept in a position that
would interfere with the mobility of your legs. As well, a
cushion should be used on the seat if it is very hard.
If you can take aspirin, have one tablet on the morning of
travel. Please consult your GP first.
March and August, the weather in Saudi Arabia is extremely
hot. Temperatures can go up to 55 degrees centigrade. There is
a serious risk of heat stroke. The signs and symptoms to look
Feeling of extreme heat.
Body temperature rising rapidly.
Feeling of drowsiness.
What To Do:
Take the person into the shade.
Take their clothes off.
Spray body with cool water and fan it.
Get medical help urgently.
How To Avoid Heat Stroke:
As far as possible, avoid direct heat from the sun.
Remain in the shade.
Go out during evenings and nights.
Keep your body cool by drinking plenty of water.
When you have to go out in the sun cover your body
completely with clothes. Cover your head so that only your
eyes and nose are exposed.
Essentials of First Aid
Act quickly, quietly and methodically, giving priority to the
most urgent conditions.
If breathing has stopped, clear the throat and mouth. If
necessary, start emergency resuscitation.
Give reassurance and encouragement to the patient.
Position the patient correctly - in coma position.
Do not allow people to crowd round.
Do not give anything by mouth to a casualty who is
unconscious, who has internal injury or who may shortly need
an anaesthetic for an operation.
As soon as possible arrange to call for an ambulance or
Reduce any further danger to the casualty or to
Road Accident: Instruct someone to control the traffic.
Electrocution (Electric Shock): Switch of the current; take
necessary precautions against further electric shock.
Fire and collapsing building: Move the casualty to safety away
from the building or tent.
Gas and Poisonous fumes: Turn off at source. Remove casualty
to fresh air.
Go with the casualty or give written or verbal message to
the ambulance driver or doctor regarding the circumstances of
the accident or illness and the treatment given.
1. Apply direct pressure to the bleeding wound point or points
for 10 - 15
2. Lower the head position if possible.
3. Apply a dressing and firm bandage, but not too tight.
Steady and support the injured part at once to prevent further
damage. Do not allow any movement - use bandages or sticks for
1. Lay the patient on the floor or
bed in fresh air or if not possible then sit him down and
lower his head between his knees.
2. Loosen clothing at the neck, chest
3. Reassure and urge to breathe
deeply, to move the muscles of the legs thighs and buttocks to
help the circulation of the blood.
4. On recovery, sips of water may be