MOH Announces the Health Requirements to Be Met by This Year's Hajj Pilgrims
02 September 2014  
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reiterated that those willing to perform the Hajj rituals this year, both from inside and outside the Kingdom, will have to adhere to taking the meningitis vaccine. It also recommended taking the seasonal influenza vaccine, in addition to adhering to the other specific requirements to be met by each country for pilgrims coming from abroad. The Ministry underscored the importance of adherence to the health requirements that must be followed by arrivals to perform Umrah and Hajj this year (1435H). As such, the Ministry has submitted such requirements to Saudi embassies and consulates abroad to act accordingly when granting Umrah and Hajj visas for this year's Hajj.
The MOH Spokesman, Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Marghalani, explained that the MOH closely follows up the latest epidemiological developments through a national scientific committee which monitors the developments of the diseases at the national and international levels, adding that the MOH Command and Control Center follows up the national and international health status and reviews those requirements, if the need arises.
He pointed out that the health requirements of this year focused on several axes; ebola, corona, yellow fever, meningitis, polio and anti-seasonal influenza vaccination.
Dr. Marghalani further highlighted that the yellow fever-affected countries are:
Angola, Benin, Sudan, South Sudan, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Cameron, Burundi, Chad, Uganda, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Mauritania, Rwanda, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Suriname, Peru, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay.   
He noted that those coming from the countries affected by the yellow fever must present, in accordance with the international health regulations, a valid vaccination certificate against the disease stating that the person was vaccinated at least 10 days before his arrival in the Kingdom. Also aircrafts, ships and various means of transportation coming from the countries which were declared affected by the yellow fever, are required to submit a valid certificate stating the extermination of insects (mosquitos) on board.
Concerning the meningitis, Dr. Marghalani said that the requirements provided that every pilgrim or arrival for Umrah or seasonal work at the Hajj areas from any country must submit a valid vaccination certificate against meningitis, testifying his vaccination against the disease (before arriving in the Kingdom) within at least ten days' period and not exceeding three years, as a precondition for obtaining a visa for Hajj, Umrah or seasonal work. The health authority in the pilgrim's homeland should ensure that all pilgrims were given one dose of the quadrivalent polysaccharide (ACYW135) vaccine.
As for arrivals from the African Belt countries (i.e., Sudan, South Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Benin, Cameron, Chad, Eritrea, Gambia, Senegal and Central Africa), in addition to their vaccination in their respective countries, they will be given the preventive medicine at the Kingdom's ports of entry.   
So far as polio is concerned, Dr. Marghalani said the arrivals from the following countries: (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Cameron, Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, Syria, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen, Palestine [Gaza Strip, the West Band, and 48 Arabs], Guinea and Iraq) shall submit an oral polio vaccination certificate six weeks prior to their arrival in the Kingdom. And they are to be given another dose of the oral polio vaccine upon their arrival in the Kingdom, regardless of their age.
Dr. Mirghalani further expounded that the Ministry of Health advises all arrivals for Hajj or Umrah to be vaccinated with the seasonal influenza vaccine, especially those suffering from chronic diseases (heart diseases, kidney disease, respiratory diseases, nervous system disorders and diabetes), and immunodeficiency patients (congenital and acquired), metabolic diseases, pregnant women, children (under 5 years) and obese persons. Also, the health authorities of the countries from which the pilgrims arrive have been urged to enlighten their pilgrims about the infectious disease, their types, symptoms, transmission ways, complications and prevention means.
He explained that the requirements include banning the entry of food items brought by those coming to the Kingdom, including the items amidst their luggage, unless they are canned and tightly sealed or in easy-to-open kits for the purpose of examination, and with amounts sufficing those who travel by land, only for the travelling distance. 
As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Health advised the elderly people, those suffering from chronic diseases (heart diseases, kidney disease, respiratory diseases, nervous system disorders and diabetes) and immunodeficiency patients (congenital and acquired), pregnant women and children to postpone the performance of the Hajj and Umrah this year, for their own safety.  
in this Section
Last Update : 04 September 2014 11:51 AM
Reading times :