Hajj and Umrah Health Tips
Pilgrims, when coming for Hajj or Umrah, are supposed to abide by a variety of health tips and guidelines, by following them it will protect them against infectious and communicable diseases, Allah willing. Following are some of such tips:
Pre-Hajj/Umrah Health Tips:
- Taking the necessary vaccinations, especially the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases. Herein is an elaborate account of the required vaccinations, to be enumerated later on, as well as the timing of taking such vaccinations prior to setting out for the Hajj Holy Sites.
- Seeing a doctor before travelling to verify of your health stability, and ability to perform the Hajj rites.
- Taking sufficient medications, especially in case you suffer from one of the diseases that require you to take medications regularly, such as heart diseases, hypertension, kidney diseases, asthma and diabetes.
- Bringing enough cloths, since you'd better change your cloths regularly and repetitively to maintain your hygiene. Cloths are recommended to be light and loose.
- Carrying a detailed report of the medical diagnosis of your case, and the required medications and doses, to help follow up your case when need be.
- Be sure that your personal bag includes the necessary cleaning tools and supplies (towel, shavers, tooth paste and brush, umbrella, loose cotton cloths, moisturizing creams, etc.).
- By sure that your medical bag includes wound-sterilizing tools, heatsink, and painkillers.
- In case you’re a diabetic, be sure to have a blood sugar measurement device.
- It is advisable to move your legs every now and again while sitting in the plain or bus, and walk for a while every hour or two hours, to avoid kibe (swollen feet).
- In case you’re a tuberculosis patient, you have to undergo all the necessary medical tests and submit the results that prove infection could not be transmitted from you to other pilgrims. Pilgrimage is not recommended until after you complete treatment, and get recovered.
- In case you're suffering from persistent cough for more than two weeks, you have to undergo the necessary before travelling to be sure that you don't have tuberculosis.
- Means of transport (planes, buses, etc.) are among the most vulnerable places of infection transmission (through coughing, sneezing, speaking, etc.). So be sure to use handkerchiefs when coughing or sneezing, or even face-masks when need be.
During Hajj/Umrah Health Tips:
1. Hygiene and General Cleanliness Tips:
- Maintaining personal hygiene, bathing regularly, and washing hands well by using water and soap, or other disinfectants used for handwashing, especially after coughing and sneezing.
- Using handkerchiefs when coughing or sneezing by covering the nose and mouth, and then eliminating them in the trash. In case there are no handkerchiefs at hand, use the upper arms rather than hands.
- Using a face-mask, especially in crowded places, and changing it every now and then.
- In case there are no handkerchiefs at hand, use the upper arms, rather than hands, for covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands well, using water and soap, or the hand-sterilizing gel, especially after bathing, after coughing and sneezing, before eating, and when coming back to your residence.
- Paying close attention to the oral and dental cleanliness.
- Eliminating wastes in the trash.
- Changing cloths with new ones every now and then.
- Paying close attention to the cleanliness of your residence, on a daily basis.
- Avoiding spitting on the floor, since it is a hazardous source of infection.
- Even though handwashing is always necessary, it is even more necessary during Hajj.
- Don't spit on the floor. It is a hazardous source of infection transmission.
- Face-masks are recommended at crowded and congested places, especially during circumambulation of the Ka'ba (Tawaf), stoning (Rajm), and walking between Safa and Marwa (Sa'i). They should be changed regularly (every six hours), or when dirty, in accordance with the guidelines provided by the manufacturer, along with washing hands with water and soap when taking them off.
2. Shaving and Haircutting Tips:
- When shaving or haircutting, be sure to follow certain health tips and instructions to protect yourself against such infectious diseases as hepatitis (B) and (C) and AIDS. Such tips include:
- Choose a suitable barber, and never go to street barbers.
- Once-use shavers are recommended. Keep away from all other kinds of shavers, including the ones which have their razors changed after every shave.
- Never share others with such personal tools as the brushes used to remove hair, sponges, etc.
- Ask the barber to wash his hands well (by using water and soap) before shaving or haircutting.
- Remember that using your own shavers, and not sharing others with theirs, is the best way to protect yourself against the infection of hepatitis (B) and (C), and maybe AIDS.
3. Protection Against Food Poisoning During Hajj:
- Wash fruits and vegetables well before eating.
- Verify of the expiry date when buying canned foods and drinks.
- Keep away from the uncovered food, since it is exposed to insects and pollution.
- Wash your hands well before and after preparing food.
- Wash your hands well before and after eating.
- Cooked food should be eaten immediately after cooking, and, when need be, it could be kept in the fridge.
- Avoid storing cooked food in buses for long when moving from on Hajj site to another. This is one of the major triggers of food poisoning during Hajj.
- Remember that storing cooked food for more than two hours in the room/bus temperature may lead to the growing of bacteria causing food poisoning.
4. Tips for Protection Against Heat Exhaustion and Sun Strokes:
- Drink enough liquids (water, juices, etc.) regularly.
- Avoid exposure to the sun for long, and use an umbrella when necessary. Light colored umbrellas are recommended.
- Avoid making excessive effort, and keep to take sufficient sleep after performing each of the Hajj rituals, so as to restore your energy.
- Loose, light colored cloths are recommended. Don't use heavy cloths.
Areas of Frequent Heat Injuries: Heat injuries are frequent in these areas:
- Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka'ba), especially at midday times.
- Sa'i (walking between Safa and Marwa), especially in cases of crowding and high temperature.
- Arafat at midday time.
- Mina (places of slaughtering the sacrificial animals and stoning), due to the long distance and congestion.
On the onset of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or sun strokes (high body temperature, headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, thirst, and/or cramping of the abdominal and leg muscles), you should:
- Getting away from the sunny to a shady place.
- Cooling the body by cold water.
- Taking enough sleep.
- Taking antipyretics and painkillers when necessary.
- Heading for the nearest health centers in severe cases.
Post Hajj/Umrah Health Tips:
A considerable number of pilgrims undergo some of the common symptoms after the Hajj such as: strain, muscle pains and aches, headache, cold, laziness, irregular sleep, and complexion-darkening. And such symptoms result from exposure to sunlight beams, excessive movement without adequate fitness, and getting infected with cold and influenza.
Here are some pieces of advice related to your health and the health of those living along after returning to your country safely.
If you were suffering from flu, make a point of not transmitting the infection to others through sneezing or coughing; and this is through following these preventive procedures:
- Using handkerchiefs to cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, then throw them away in the wastepaper basket.
- Making a point of washing hands repeatedly in a correct way.
And you should do the following:
- Taking a great deal of rest and drinking fluids, as this helps you recover, God willing.
- Taking analgesics when needed.
- Seeing a doctor when necessary.
- If you found out during the Hajj that you would suffer from a specific disease such as diabetes or hypertension, make a point of seeing a doctor and taking the necessary steps after returning from the Hajj.