Hajj Pilgrims Undergo Health Checks

Hajj Pilgrims Undergo Health Checks  Hajj Pilgrims Undergo Health Checks

Medical checks show that diabetes, high blood pressure and anemia are the most prevalent problems among this year’s hajj (major pilgrimage as opposed to Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage) pilgrims.

The pilgrimage takes place from the 8th to 12th (or in some cases 13th) of the Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar (corresponding to Sept. 15-Oct. 14, 2015). 

Hajj Medical Center deputy at the Red Crescent Society, Adel Maghsudi-nejad, said 90% of the hajj pilgrims have undergone medical screening, IRNA reported.

Statistics suggest that 23% of those examined have high BP, 14% are diabetic and 34% have blood sugar above the normal level.

The IRCS plans to send 280 physicians, including 75 female medics, to hospitals in Mecca and Medina to provide healthcare services.

“We are ready to provide medical treatment in Saudi hospitals before the religious event begins,” Maghsudi-nejad said.

A number of ‘cold tents’ had been prepared to prevent hyperthermia and training would be provided to both medics and pilgrims on how to use them.

As the pilgrimage is the world’s largest annual gathering of people from different countries, some of which have poor healthcare systems, the possibility of the outbreak of diseases exists, which can cause epidemics.

 If infections were to spread during the pilgrimage, the problems would be exacerbated when pilgrims return home and pass on their infections.

One such disease which has prompted response from the Saudi government is meningitis. It became a primary concern after an international outbreak following the hajj in 1987.

Due to post-hajj outbreaks globally of certain types of meningitis in previous years, it is now a visa requirement to be immunized with the ACW135Y vaccine before arrival. Every year, the Saudi government publishes a list of vaccines required for pilgrims.