As many Muslims across Dubai gear up to embark on the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah, Dubai Health Authority, DHA, doctors are calling on pilgrims to get vaccinated and take other health measures.
They have shared health tips with pilgrims during DHA’s "Sehatek (your health) Live", which is a weekly online show that gives Dubai community a chance to share any queries directly with the authority across different health topics live on Twitter and Instagram.
Dr. Ahmed Saleh, Consultant in Infections and Head of Infection control at Rashid Hospital, said that since prevention is better than cure, it is important for pilgrims to get vaccinations which will help prevent the spread of diseases while performing Hajj.
"Pilgrims must take all preventive measures that will keep them safe and healthy during Hajj, and take the necessary vaccinations that include seasonal flu and meningococcal vaccines at least 10 to 15 days before embarking on their hajj trips. These vaccinations, which can be taken at the authority’s primary healthcare centres will protect them from potential infectious diseases," Dr. Saleh added.
Dr. Selma Eissa Hago Dawd, Internist Specialist at Dubai Hospital, said that it’s important to take precautionary steps ahead of Hajj especially for the elderly and those who have chronic diseases She advised all pilgrims - even those who don’t suffer from any health issues - to take a first aid bag with them that has precautionary medication including medicines for fever, cold, cough, diarrhea, painkillers and skin and muscle spasm creams.
Due to the increasingly soaring temperatures, Dr. Dawd also advised pilgrims to wear light cotton fabrics and avoid contact lenses as the heat and dust can cause eye dryness and irritation.
"The most common diseases that Hajj pilgrims are prone to is influenza. To prevent this, pilgrims should take care of their hygiene and wash their hands a lot. They should cover their mouth with a cloth when they sneeze and wear facemasks that should be changed every four hours. Pilgrims should also make sure to shave in specialised and licensed barbershops to avoid infections," she concluded.