Hajj saudi arabia grand mosque
File photo of worshippers around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque of Makkah Image Credit: Saudi Ministry of Hajj

Dubai: As thousands of pilgrims from the UAE are set to perform the annual Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj in Saudi Arabia, various health authorities here have issued comprehensive safety guidelines to ensure the well-being of pilgrims amid the summer heat.

From what to pack in their bags to what needs to be done before and during the pilgrimage, these recommendations encompass a range of preparations and precautions to maintain health and safety. They are also in line with the advisories issued by Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Emirates Health Services have shared various tips and guidelines through social media.

To maintain your health and avoid diseases during Hajj, make sure to follow these preventive and health guidelines, MoHAP said.

“Familiarise yourself with the health guidelines and pre-travel preparations to ensure a healthy and safe Hajj,” it added.

MoHAP had earlier emphasised the importance of preparation for a healthy and safe Hajj which included vaccinations at least 15 days before departure and maintaining a healthy diet to support the immune system and enhance the physical fitness at least three weeks before travelling.

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prevent food poisoning during Hajj
-Wash your hands before and after eating.
-Cook food thoroughly and store it at safe temperatures.
-Ensure the validity of food and beverages.
-Avoid uncovered food stored outside the refrigerator.
-Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours.
-Refrain from consuming undercooked or unhygienically prepared food.
-Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and consuming raw meat.
-Cover food properly when carrying it during Hajj.
-Consume 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily after washing them.
Source: MoHAP

What medicines to carry

In the latest updates, the ministry has asked the pilgrims to consult their doctor to ensure their health is stable and carry a detailed medical report about their health condition and medications.

“If you suffer from a chronic disease, take an adequate amount of medication after consulting your doctor,” said the ministry.

Meanwhile, DHA pointed out that pilgrims should ensure an adequate supply of medications for chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and heart disease.

“Carry a thermos for medicines needing cold storage, a glucose meter, pressure measuring device, and a thermometer,” it said.

DHA also recommended carrying a well-stocked kit of essential medications which include the following: Antipyretics, painkillers, cough medicine, laxatives, antacids, burn, wound, and allergic ointments, mosquito repellent, antiseptic cream, and powder for skin abrasions.

What should be in first aid kit

MoHAP also advised packing a medical kit with essentials such as hand sanitiser, wound care supplies, fever and pain relief medication, moisturisers, burn and allergy creams, masks, tissues, scissors, and nail clippers.

The first aid kit advised by DHA includes tweezers, scissors, eye wash, sterile solutions, plasters, sterile pads, gauze, cotton balls, swabs, and sterile gloves.

Additionally, a personal bag should include toiletries, a handheld fan, an insulated metal water bottle, and a light-colored sun umbrella, MoHAP said.

DHA advised to add loose, appropriate clothing.

Meanwhile, EHS, along with MoHAP, highlighted several key health practices.

Sun Protection: Shield yourself from the sun by using a sun umbrella and applying sunscreen and moisturizers.

Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing or consuming food, and after using the restroom. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Masks: Wear masks in crowded areas, change them as needed, and ensure hand hygiene.

Cough Etiquette: Use tissues when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of them properly.

Illness Prevention: Avoid direct contact with individuals showing signs of illness and refrain from sharing personal items.

The authorities have also reminded pilgrims to stay hydrated as Saudi Arabia had earlier said that pilgrims would experience average high temperatures of 44℃ during the Hajj.