The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom Saudi Arabia (KSA) have published their health requirements and recommendations for 2019 Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and seasonal workers. Travel Health Pro, the NHS sponsored travel site, have updated their Hajj and Umrah factsheet to reflect any changes.
Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca), in KSA is one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the world. The event occurs between the 8th and 12th day of the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar every year. This year it is predicted that Hajj 1440H will take place between 9th – 14th August 2019 . Due to the large crowds, mass gatherings such as Hajj and Umrah are associated with unique health risks.
Pilgrims over two years of age who intend to undertake Hajj or Umrah and seasonal workers, are required to provide proof of vaccination against meningococcal disease ACW135Y to obtain a visa for entry in to KSA. A conjugate ACW135 meningococcal vaccine should have been administered not more than five years and not less than 10 days prior to entry in to KSA. KSA state that the conjugate vaccines (Menveo or Nimenrix) confer protection for ‘at least five years’. Failure to document the type of vaccine will result in the certificate being valid for three years only.
Other considerations whilst travelling include food safety, heat-exhaustion, and means of preventing infectious diseases. Global Health Travel clinics will include this advice during a consultation.
For more details visit Travel health Pro pat of NaTHNaC, the National Travel Health Network & Centre, a UK government organisation which produces travel health guidance for healthcare professionals advising travellers and for travellers going overseas from the UK