Travelling to Hajj or Umrah
The Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world.
The pilgrimage occurs from the 10th-15th day of the 12th month in the Islamic calendar (Dhu al-Hijjah). The Islamic calendar is eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the western world. The Gregorian date of the Hajj is eleven days earlier from year to year.
Hajj is expected to fall between 30th August and the 4th of September in 2017.
The Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year. Umrah is not considered as compulsory but it is highly recommended in Islam. There are two different types of Umrah.
Umrah can be combined with the Hajj (Umrat al-tammatu) or taken independently of the Hajj (al-Umrat al mufradah).
Saudi Arabia Hajj Regulations
The health requirements for pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj and Umrah) are published by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health annually.
Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health Updated Advice Regarding MERS-CoV
Advice issued by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health recommends that elderly (above 65 years of age) and those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes), immune deficiency (congenital and acquired), malignancy and terminal illnesses, pregnant women and children (under 12 years) postpone the performance of the Hajj and Umrah for their own safety.
They also advise pilgrims to comply with health guidelines to curb the spread of respiratory infections, which can be summarized as follows:
Wash hands with soap and water or disinfectant, especially after coughing and sneezing.
Use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and dispose of them appropriately.
Avoid hand contact with the eyes, nose and mouth.
Avoid direct contact with the infected persons or use of their personal gadgets.
Avoid direct contact with camels and staying away from their gathering places.
Avoid drinking camel milk unless it is pasteurized or boiled, or eating their undercooked meat.
Wear facemasks, especially when in crowded places.
Maintain good personal hygiene.
Pre-Hajj Health Tips:
• Get the necessary vaccinations, especially the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases. Herein is an elaborate account of the required vaccinations, to be enumerated later on, as well as the timing of taking such vaccinations prior to setting out for the Hajj Holy Sites.
• Seeing a doctor before travelling to verify of your health stability, and ability to perform the Hajj rites.
• Pack sufficient medications, especially in case you suffer from one of the diseases that require you to take medications regularly, such as heart diseases, hypertension, kidney diseases, asthma and diabetes.
• Carrying a detailed report of the medical diagnosis of your case, and the required medications and doses, to help follow up your case when need be.
• By sure that your medical bag includes wound-sterilizing tools, heatsink, and painkillers.
• In case you’re a diabetic, be sure to have a blood sugar measurement device.
It is of high importance to take vaccinations (according to the table shown below) long enough before Hajj. It is indispensably necessary for protecting yourself as well as fellow pilgrims. Some of these vaccinations are compulsory and some are optional. And in all cases, you should consult a doctor before taking the vaccination.
Be sure to carry about the card that proved that you have taken the necessary vaccinations when arriving at the Saudi ports (land, sea and air ports).
Negligence of vaccinations, or obtaining certificates of fake vaccination are not to be tolerated. All such attempts are punishable by law.
Here at Dears Pharmacy we can provide support, advice and vaccinations as part of your preparation for Hajj or Umrah. We are also an approved provider from The Muslim Council of Britain.
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