Tips for a healthy Hajj
The most important health step for pilgrims is to get vaccinated. (File photo)
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As many Muslims around the world gear up to embark upon the annual Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah, the most important step for them would be to get vaccinated. "Ideally, the vaccines should be taken four to six weeks prior to travelling or at least 10 days prior to the date of travel," said Dr Sawsan Al Nahas, specialist registrar at the Dubai Health Authority's (DHA) Traveller's Clinic, during a smart clinic session.
The Abu Dhabi Health Authority has tweeted health tips for Haj pilgrims including simple precautions such as avoiding the sun, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, using light-coloured umbrellas, among many others.
1. Seek immediate medical care if you develop fever and severe cough symptoms during the two weeks after you return from Haj.
2. After Haj, ensure taking enoug rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
3. A hygiene tip to follow during Haj: Remember to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
4. To prevent diseases or health problems during Haj, always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
5. To prevent diseases or health problems during Haj, wash your hands with soap and water especially after coughing, sneezing using toilets and before and after handling and preparation of food.
6. Make sure to obtain a stamped vaccination certificate (card) after taking the required vaccines.
7. People with a weak immune system, chronic conditions and above 65 years are advised to take pneumococcal vaccine.
8. Recommended vaccines for Haj travellers include Meningococcal, seasonal influenza and pneumococcal for high risk group.
9. The Haj vaccines are available for UAE citizens and residents, across 45 healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi.
10. Take the required Haj vaccines two weeks prior to your travelling date to ensure its effectiveness in providing immunity and allow for the maximum protection against diseases.
11. Before Haj, take any required medicines and prepare a first aid kit that includes sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape and antiseptic wipes.
12. Visit the doctor one month before travelling to review your health status and assess potential risks posed making the pilgrimage journey.
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