Health Tips for Hajj Pilgrims Medical
Hajj season has begun, fitness remains an important concern for every Haji throughout this journey. All pilgrims should aim to be fit for Hajj, the pilgrimage can be an arduous undertaking for even the fittest. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides free healthcare to all pilgrims at all holy places; many mobile teams are available round the clock at all locations of Haj travel which is in addition to medical missions of respective countries. But, to be as fit as possible before you move for Hajj pilgrimage, following health tips will help a great deal.
It is highly recommended, before traveling to the Hajj a general health check-up with a family doctor should be done to optimize their health. Sadly, in many cases, it is restricted to obtain a certificate of fitness only. To make hassle free Hajj every pilgrim needs to follow strictly health advisories of respective Haj Committees to know about preventative procedures and necessary vaccinations. Many people skip vaccination instead use influence to get certificates without actually undergoing vaccination. But it is religiously incorrect and such attitude makes them vulnerable to serious health risks and may deprive him/her or their group of performing Haj rituals. Should the pilgrim be suffering from any chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, arthritis, asthma or kidney problems, and is on medication should ask their doctor for a complete checkup, receive enough medication/instruction to cover the entire Haj period? It is also a good idea to bring a current medical report and information on medication preferably in generic names since names of medicine in KSA differs from our country.
Common Healthcare issue during Hajj is respiratory tract infection and is responsible for most sickness and hospital admissions. Taking into account the close contacts among the pilgrims, as well as the crowding, the potential for transmission of infection is expected to be high. Affected pilgrims can be a source of spreading the infection to others. Although vaccination program for influenza is implemented, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, fever, muscle aches, and pains are most commonly seen ailments in pilgrims. Prevention better than cure. Don’t spit on the ground. This is a disgusting sight and more importantly, a dangerous way of spreading disease and infection. Do not litter the street; use trash bins and cans. In order to avoid infectious disease, use the toilets for urination and defecation; use them properly and keep them clean, hygienic for others.Pilgrims are also supposed to be aware of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. It is not clear how people are exposed to MERS coronavirus, which causes MERS. Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold, that last for a short amount of time. Symptoms may include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever,and pneumonia. Most instances of person-to-person spread have occurred in healthcare workers and other close contacts (such as family members and caregivers) of people sick with MERS.
The general instructions are same, cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the used tissue in the trash, not on roads ;avoid contact with other people to keep from infecting them; frequent use of masks, frequent hand washing, do not use their personal belongings, drink large amounts of liquids (avoid ice cold drinks), and do not use antibiotic without the instruction of a physician .Another common problem during Hajj is dehydration/ heat exhaustion. One should try to minimize unnecessary movement in hot weather, if unavoidable, use umbrella, take a lot of fluids you’ll find yourself less tired that way and have more energy for ‘ibaadah; and it’s useful to have a bottle of water with you always. Sometimes simple things get precipitated during Hajj, if not tackled in time, even deprive a person of performing Hajj. With the sickness of a member the whole group suffers in many cases relatives are forced to leave that Pilgrim behind and proceed to completion of their own Hajj rituals.To avoid such inconvenience’s individually or to the whole group, the pilgrims should see their doctor before leaving to exclude chances of harboring a problem with a potential of getting complicated during Hajj. One such example is, Hernia which Haji thinks it is clinically insignificant, but this condition needs an emergency operation if it gets entrapped.This should be operated months before Hajj as with the fresh operation wound it is difficult to complete hajj rituals.; Now if someone is there couldn’t get operated, don’t bend excessively or lift heavy weight instead should wear truss with a consultation of your Doctor. Another source of trouble during Hajj is plies which due to change in dietary habits may come complicate get out of the anal canal and start bleeding or get trapped tightly causing severe agony. A simple operation a few months before could have avoided all this. Pilgrims with early piles should avoid constipation and take mild laxative besides making some dietary modification. Hyper acidity problems are not too infrequent during Hajj. The chance of ulcer to bleed or get perforated during Hajj is high, all this needs an emergency operation.So take medicines regularly avoid spicy food .
Aches, pains, colics are precipitated by dehydration and exertion, can be very painful especially in patients having kidney stones. Avoid dehydration during travel by drinking plenty of water. Similarly, elderly people known to have prostatic problems should take medicines regularly as retention of urine is a bigger problem and one may have to pray or complete Hajj rituals with the undesirable catheter. ladies who are afraid of having periods during actual hajj days should seek advice from Gynaecologist. Pilgrims with diabetes should avoid walking bare foot. The feet in diabetes cannot sense pain and this may lead to some injury resulting in a non-healing wound, the infection can spread and pose risk to limb or life.
Diarrhoeal illnesses during mass gathering including Hajj are a potential health hazard. Many factors related to food safety may contribute to this problem. Before having your food, ensure food is hygienic, utensils are clean and your hands are clean.Dispose of any residual food that has changed color, smell or taste. A personal medical/first aid kit is handy and essential for pilgrims. Combination or certain medicines are not available in KSA take adequate quantity not exceeding personal use, in that case, the customs authorities may stop you from carrying medications. Some useful on counter medicines to carry a first aid kit are: anti-diarrheal, ORS (Oral rehydration packets), and Anti allergic tablets or cough syrups. A sore throat and cough and upper respiratory tract infection are seen commonly in Hajis. So preferably non-sedative antihistaminic or equivalent is useful. Antacids, Anti-vomiting medicine Laxatives, for aches, pains, and mild fever , Paracetamol, NSAIDs, one can keep few strips of some common antibiotics used for upper respiratory infection.Carrying Narcotics and addictive drugs is strictly prohibited. Drug trafficking is a serious offense in the Kingdom and carries capital punishment. Moreover, we request all pilgrims to read and follow the health advisory and take all the precautions announced through the media by Ministry Of Health and Hajj of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Contact your state or local health department if you have any questions. The address, contact information of the Medical mission team of State/country should be readily available with every pilgrim.
Courtesy: By Fiaz Fazili , Source link