Health tips for Hajj
Our bodies have a right over us and our health is an amanah, trust, given to us. Health can even be a great asset on our Hajj, or a great burden affecting your ability to carry out the various rites. This article will summarise some key health-related points and advice on Hajj preparation, however we encourage all pilgrims to consult their doctors or relevant medical professionals before making the trip for Hajj. In Makkah, you will be exposed to millions of people from all over the world, different climates, diets, bacteria and immunities. In order to prepare for this there are a range of things you can do both before and during your travel.
Before travelling tips
make sure you are up-to-date on all of your routine vaccinations for diptheria, tetanus, pertussis (dTpa), polio and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella). There is also a requirement for all pilgrims to show proof of immunisation for meningitis. Pilgrims must have a valid certificate (which you can request from the vaccination clinic) confirming your vaccination for meningitis ACWY (within the last 3 years for polysaccharide vaccines and within the last 8 years for conjugate vaccines). Your vaccination should also take place at least 10 days before you travel to Saudi Arabia. It is also recommended to take the seasonal and most recent influenza vaccine, especially if you are 65 years or older, pregnant, or have pre-existing medical concerns.
Here is a list of suggested items to pack and bring with you, it is not intended to be exhaustive but rather a recommendation. Do not worry if you forget any of these items as there are numerous pharmacies and stores available in both Makkah and Madinah.
- Regular prescription medication (e.g. insulin for diabetes)
- Vaseline (to avoid chafing)
- Imodium and dioralyte (for upset stomachs)
- Paracetamol, ibuprofen, lemsip (painkillers and for colds)
- Vitamin and energy tablets such as Berocca or Lucozade
- Gaviscon (for indigestion)
- Piriton or other antihistamines (for allergies)
- Optrex (for dry eyes or conjunctivitis)
- Deep heat and Vicks (for muscle pain)
- Strepsils (for sore throats)
- Lib balm (non-scented)
- Antibacterial gel (non-scented)
Drink lots of water especially during times of extreme heat. Drink water that is sealed or known to have ben purified or directly from the zamzam containers. With regards to zamzam, Ibn Abbas reported: The Messsenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best water on the face of the earth is Zamzam water. In it is food for nourishment and healing for illness.” (al Mu’jam al Kabir 11011).
Wear sunscreen (non-scented) and seek shade when possible, and schedule your activities outside of the hottest period of the day where possible.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or the appropriate disinfectant.
Always eat food from trusted outlets and ensure hot food is piping hot at the time of service. Avoid street vendors especially if you are sensitive to foreign foods. Contact your group leader if you feel unwell at any time during your travel.
Clean Shaving Blades
Ensure that disposable blades are used by the barbers when shaving and cutting the hair. This is to avoid the risk of transmitting viruses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.
Avoid crowded areas
Try to avoid the crowded areas and try to perform rituals during non-peak periods.
Follow government instructions
Follow crowd control instructions and signage. This is to manage footfall and avoid overcrowding which can at times be fatal.
Always have identification
Always carry your ID so that guards and others can best support you should you feint or are unable to communicate with them.
British GPs In Hajj
The British Hajj Delegation have a team of volunteer GPs who are able to provide free consultations and medication to British Hajjis in Mina and Makkah. They plan to have a hotline and pop-up clinic which is expected to be announced soon. In order to stay up-to-date follow them via facebook or on their official website www.britishhajjdelegation.org.uk
These tips and advice are designed to help you avoid health problems during your travel, but should you fall sick then do not despair and remember the following hadith: Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira, The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Sahih Bukhari 5641/5642)
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