Health Tips for
By: Narjis Asif
We all want to go.. just once. But, unfortunately, many of us are
plagued with those nagging questions: the what-if and how-to of our
concern. Although there are many wonderful books available on the subject
that we have studied, it always helps to have some useful tips before
embarking on the trip of a lifetime.
We all know that, during Hajj, pilgrims experience numerous events,
meeting and mixing with a huge number of people and are constantly on the
move from one place to another. Because of this constant journey, pilgrims
are advised to pay extra attention to the condition of their health and
not ignore what may, at first, appear to be insignificant symptoms. There
are certain health and preventative steps that may help them to perform
the Hajj rituals with minimum health. Some of these steps are now
necessary conditions to get the official Hajj permit; while other are
simply suggested health preparations. The prerequisites in combination
with the subsequent useful may aid in making your Hajj journey a safe and
an enjoyable experience!
ASK YOUR DOCTOR: It is highly recommended, before traveling to the
Hajj, that every pilgrim consult his physician to know about new
preventative procedures and necessary vaccines. Should the pilgrim be
suffering from a certain disease, he has to ask the doctor for advice
concerning his health condition and ability to endure the Hajj journey. It
is also a good idea to bring a current medical report.
FIRST AID KITS TO THE RESCUE: Every pilgrim is advised to have a
medical, first aid kit to deal with any emergency that may arise during
the Hajj rituals. Pilgrims now often perform their Hajj through organized
groups that take care of these things. Each groups of pilgrims may even
have their own doctor, which is very useful. If you have to bring
medicine, which you need, keep it in a safe place. Use special containers
available at pharmacies for this purpose.
GOT A MEDICAL CARD? Pilgrims suffering from certain diseases must
carry on their personal medical card (preferably a bracelet) that explains
their medical condition in detail. This is important for receiving prompt
treatment in case of emergency. The pilgrim must write the names and doses
of the medicine he is currently taking so that they can be dispensed to
him if and when they are lost.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TOILETRIES-TO-GO: It is highly
recommended that the pilgrims take with them all the equipment and
material they may need for personal cleanliness such as: soap, towels, a
toothbrush, a shaving kit, etc. if pilgrim observed the Islamic rules of
cleanliness and properly disposed of their litter in the baskets and
containers provided for the purpose, disgusting sights of trash piles and
filthy streets would disappears from the Hajj season. Without the pilgrims
help, efforts by municipalities will not be sufficient to eliminate all
harms which may result because of lack of cleanness. Using common sense
and keeping mind simple rules can make Hajj healthier and safer for
everyone, such as:
- Do not 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 pins and cans.
- In order to avoid infectious disease, use the toilets for urination and
defecation; use them properly and keep them clean for others.
WEAR THE RIGHT STUFF: Although it is mostly mild in Makkah and
other place that are pat of the Hajj rites, the weather this year can be
cold and it is advisable that pilgrims coming from countries with
different climates take this into consideration and bring with them
suitable clothes. Of course, these clothes are to be worn when not in the
state of Ihram.
BE CAUTION WITH THE CUISINE: Some pilgrims do not observe hygiene
rule while preparing food. The main reason for the high incidence of
infectious diseases such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and
enteritis (inflammation of the intestines) during Hajj is contaminated
There are some easy-to-follow and preventive procedures that must be
observed. Choosing to ignore these procedures, however, may result in
serious health problems and gastrointestinal (inflammation of the membrane
of the stomach and the intestine) disorders.
The following rules are particularly important:
- Observe strict cleanliness; wash your hands with water and soap before
and after meals and every time you use bathroom.
- Clean cooking utensils and wash the fruit and vegetables thoroughly
before eating them.
- Do not leave food exposed to open air, dust and germs.
- Drink only bottled water and use it for cooking. If bottled water is
unavailable, use filtered and purified water; otherwise water must be
boiled before it is used.
- Never buy salads and prepared food from street peddlers.
CHUG A LUG OF LIQUID: Throughout the Hajj trip, the pilgrims losses
substantial amounts of liquids through perspiration and that is why the
pilgrim is advised to drink enough liquids to compensate for what he or
she loses each day.
SAFETY AND SECURITY FIRST: Hajj is an eventful season where
approximately two million pilgrims get together for a period not exceeding
one week. Thy live in overcrowded tents and move together almost at the
same times. Furthermore, they come from various countries, speak different
languages and have different levels of education. Because of all this,
many accidents may and actually did happen during Hajj.
USE CARE WHEN SHAVING: When having there hair shaved, some pilgrims
use contaminated razors (that have been used by other pilgrims). This is
very dangerous practice because a lot of contagious and blood transmitted
disease can be communicated in this way from one person to another. HIV,
the virus that is responsible for AIDS, and hepatitis (Inflammation of the
liver) B and C are the most dangerous viruses communicated in this way. It
is vital that pilgrims use disposable razors and dispose of them safely
once they have been used.