Comprehensive Health Guidelines for 2024 Hajj Pilgrims

by admin

Among the paramount measures to guarantee a seamless Hajj journey is putting your health first and preparing yourself physically and mentally to deal with common health issues that pilgrims often encounter.

Required Vaccinations:

Certain vaccination requirements are in place for those planning to participate in Hajj or be within the Hajj areas, including adults and children aged one year or older. These requirements are as follows:

1.Neisseria Meningitidis: It is compulsory to possess a valid vaccination certificate showing that you have received the quadruple meningitis vaccine (ACYW) if you wish to attend Hajj or enter Hajj areas. This vaccine should have been administered ten days before your arrival in the Hajj areas. Acceptable vaccines include:• Quadruple (ACYW) polysaccharide vaccine, with a validity period not exceeding three years since vaccination.• Quadruple conjugate (ACYW) vaccine, with a validity period not exceeding five years since vaccination.

2.Polio: If you are coming from regions where wild poliovirus or vaccine-derived poliovirus is still circulating, you must possess a valid vaccination certificate showing that you have received at least one dose of either bivalent oral polio vaccine (Bopv) or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). This vaccine should have been administered between four weeks and 12 months before you entered the Kingdom. (recommended)

3.Yellow Fever: All pilgrims above nine months from regions where yellow fever is prevalent must show a valid vaccination certificate indicating that they have been vaccinated against it before arriving in the Kingdom. The certificate becomes valid ten days after vaccination and remains valid for life.

Recommended Vaccination:

SARS-COV-2 (Covid-19):All prospective Hajj pilgrims aged 12 years or older, are mandated to complete all the required doses of one of the Kingdom-approved Covid-19 vaccines. The following vaccines are accepted:Pfizer-BioNTech: Two doses required.Moderna: Two doses required.Oxford/AstraZeneca: Two doses required.Janssen: One dose required.Covovax: Two doses required.Nuvaxovid: Two doses required.Sinopharm: Two doses required.Sinovac: Two doses required.Covexin: Two doses required.Sputnik V: Two doses required.

Seasonal Influenza: It is advisable for all individuals traveling to the Hajj regions, including pilgrims, seasonal workers, and others, to receive the seasonal flu vaccine at least ten days before arriving in the Kingdom. This recommendation is especially important for pregnant women, children under five, the elderly, and individuals with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems. The Ministry of Health recommends that pilgrims from countries using the northern half vaccine receive the southern half vaccine at least ten days before they arrive in the Kingdom.

General Health Recommendations:It is important to note that medical insurance is not automatically provided for pilgrims during Hajj. Therefore, pilgrims should consult their service provider to obtain information about local medical services. For added peace of mind during their Hajj journey, pilgrims should consider securing comprehensive insurance coverage.

Recommendations for Elderly Pilgrims and Those with Chronic Conditions:For elderly pilgrims and individuals with chronic conditions, special considerations should be considered:

  • 1. Pre-Travel Consultation: Pilgrims, especially the elderly and those with severe chronic conditions such as advanced cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, advanced liver or kidney diseases, and senility, should consult with their healthcare providers before embarking on their Hajj journey. This consultation is essential to assess their physical readiness and overall health conditions.
  • 2.Medical Documentation: Pilgrims should obtain documentation from their healthcare providers that includes detailed information about their medical conditions, prescribed medications, potential complications, and any other relevant details.
  • 3.Medication Management: Pilgrims should ensure they carry an ample supply of prescribed medications in their original packaging. It is also helpful to be aware of the generic names of their medications, as these may be more widely recognized in foreign pharmacies.
  • 4.Adjusting Medication Schedules: Pilgrims should discuss any necessary adjustments to their medication schedules with their healthcare provider, considering time zone changes when departing and returning from Hajj.
  • 5. Vaccination Status: Pilgrims should update their vaccination status against vaccine-preventable diseases. This includes vaccinations for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Measles, Varicella, and Mumps.
  • 6. Special Medical Equipment: For pilgrims with specific medical requirements, such as oxygen devices, breathing aids, hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc., it is important to ensure that extra batteries and necessary supplies are readily available.
  • 7. Wheelchair Use: Pilgrims who use wheelchairs should bring their wheelchair and consider having a friend or family member who can assist. Additionally, it is recommended to have a patch kit for potential flat tires. Wheelchairs can also be purchased at pharmacies in Makkah if needed.
  • 8. Physical Exertion: Pilgrims should avoid excessive physical exertion during Hajj to prioritize their health. It is advisable to use a wheelchair when performing Tawaf when walking between the Safa and Marwa and during times of stress.
  • 9. Seeking Immediate Medical Attention: If a pilgrim experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, or any health complications related to blood sugar or other conditions, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention by visiting the nearest health facility. Your health should always be a top priority during Hajj.
Essential Personal Hygiene Practices:

1. Coughing and Sneezing Etiquette: Pilgrims should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If tissues are unavailable, they should use their elbows to prevent the spread of germs. This simple act plays a crucial role in protecting the health of all pilgrims.

2. Clean Clothing: Wearing clean and fresh clothes is comfortable and prevents skin irritations. Pilgrims should choose breathable fabrics and avoid materials that may cause discomfort.

3. Clean Living Space: Regularly maintaining the cleanliness of their living space is essential. Daily cleaning helps create a healthy environment and reduces allergens, bacteria, and viruses in the home, contributing to overall well-being.

4. Oral Hygiene: Paying attention to oral hygiene and dental care is vital for a healthy smile and overall health. Pilgrims should brush and floss their teeth regularly and schedule routine dental check-ups to ensure good oral health.

5. Handwashing: Handwashing is fundamental for personal hygiene. Proper handwashing with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illnesses. Pilgrims should make it a habit to wash their hands regularly, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and in public places.

Injuries Caused by Heat and Infectious Conditions:

Heat Stress: Heat stress occurs when the body becomes overheated, often due to exposure to high temperatures, leading to discomfort and potential health risks. To prevent it, pilgrims should follow these guidelines:

Reduce exposure to high temperatures and avoid crowded spaces, seeking shade or well-ventilated areas.

Stay hydrated by drinking water and electrolyte-rich beverages to maintain electrolyte balance.

Prevent overheating and exhaustion by taking regular breaks and resting in cooler environments.

Choose light-coloured clothing, particularly for women, as it reflects sunlight and helps regulate body temperature in hot conditions.

Heat Stroke: Heat stroke is a severe medical condition resulting from prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion. It can lead to symptoms like high body temperature and confusion and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. To provide immediate relief for someone with heat stroke, a pilgrim should:

Remove excess clothing and cool the body with water, paying attention to the head and neck.

Offer fluids to rehydrate the affected person.

Call emergency medical assistance and transport the individual to the nearest healthcare facility for proper treatment.

Muscle Discomfort:

Muscle stress, characterized by tension or discomfort due to overuse, strain, or tension, can lead to pain or reduced functionality. To alleviate pain in the affected muscles, a pilgrim can take the following steps:

Apply gentle pressure to the injured or sore area to reduce discomfort and promote blood circulation.
Consider using a cold compress or ice pack on the affected area to reduce inflammation and soothe pain. Ensure the cold source is wrapped in a cloth to prevent direct skin contact and avoid frostbite or discomfort.
Utilize a wheelchair or mobility aid to assist with mobility.
If necessary, consume pain relievers as directed.

Skin Irritation:

Skin irritation, often observed during the Hajj season, particularly affecting individuals who are obese, overweight, or have diabetes, can result in skin inflammation, particularly in areas like the thighs, underarms, and below the breasts. To prevent skin irritation, a pilgrim should follow these steps:

Apply suitable creams to moisturize and protect the skin before walking.
After sweating, use baby powder to keep the skin dry and reduce friction.
Opt for cotton clothing to prevent chafing and maintain comfortable, breathable attire.
If an infection occurs, use specialized creams for treatment. Before applying the medication, ensure that the affected area is cleaned with water and soap, and repeat this process regularly for the best results.


Dehydration occurs when the body loses excessive fluids, primarily water, leading to inadequate hydration. This can result from insufficient fluid intake, excessive sweating, or certain medical conditions like diabetes. To recognize dehydration, a pilgrim should watch for the following signs:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Reduced urine output
  • Muscle cramps
  • Rapid breathing

To prevent dehydration, a pilgrim should:

Ensure an adequate daily water intake.

Include hydrating foods in their diet, such as fruits and vegetables.

Limit factors that can lead to dehydration, such as excessive caffeine consumption.

Seek medical attention if symptoms develop, as medications can be prescribed to treat and prevent complications.

Falling and Ankle Sprain:

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