MOH News

Dr. Merghalani: Those to Perform the Hajj Must Adhere to the Health Requirements Prescribed by the Ministry
03 October 2012
   The MOH Spokesman, Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Merghalani, pointed  out that those within or outside the Kingdom who would like to perform the Hajj must take meningitis vaccine or submit a  vaccination certificate showing that they have vaccinated against meningitis (before arriving in the Kingdom) within at least ten days' period and not exceeding three years. And the Ministry is to verify, at the ports, of having the adults and the children aged two years and over vaccinated, by one dose of the quadruple vaccine: ACYW 135.
Also, Al-Merghalani has confirmed that the Ministry has affirmed that those hailing from the African belt states (the Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Eritrea, Gambia, Senegal, and Central Africa) must take such vaccinations.
He pointed out that the Ministry has issued the health requirements in order for those to perform the 1433H Umrah and Hajj to abide by. It also notified the relevant authorities to circulate such requirements and conditions to the Saudi embassies and representatives abroad to adhere to them when issuing the Umrah and Hajj visas for this year.
Dr. Al-Merghalani went on to explain that the Ministry follows up the epidemiological developments of diseases at a regular basis, and all the authorities are going to be notified with any modification to be introduced to such conditions. “This year's health conditions have focused on several pivots: yellow fever, meningitis, polio, and seasonal influenza,” he added.
Dr. Al-Merghalani has stated that the conditions have underlined that the states where the yellow fever is endemic are: Angola, Benin, Sudan, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Republic of Central Africa, Cameroon , Burundi, Chad, Uganda, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire , Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ethiopia,  Democratic Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guine Bissau, Togo, Kenya, Liberia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Suriname, Peru, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay.
He also noted that it is required from those hailing from the states where the yellow fever is endemic to submit a valid vaccination certificate against this disease according to the international health regulations showing that they have been vaccinated against such a disease before their arrival to the Kingdom within at least ten days' period and not more than ten years. In addition, planes, ships, and various means of transportation coming from the states afflicted by the yellow fever, are required to submit a valid certificate showing that all the insects (mosquitoes), on their board, are exterminated.
Dr. Al-Merghalani has stated that as far as wild polio virus is concerned, it is required from the states:  Niger, Mali, Somalia, Kenya, Cameroon, and Republic of Central Africa, where polio is endemic, to submit a child-vaccinating certificate of less than fifteen years with the oral polio vaccine before their arrival to the Kingdom by six weeks. In addition to this, they will be given another dose of the Oral Polio Vaccine when arriving to the Kingdom. However, he confirmed that it is required from those of all age-groups hailing from the states: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and Angola, where the polio is endemic, to submit oral polio vaccine certificate before their arrival to the Kingdom by six weeks. And they are to be given another dose of the oral polio vaccine when arriving in the Kingdom regardless of their ages.
Dr. Al-Merghalani continued to point out that the Ministry recommends those to perform the Hajj or Umrah to be vaccinated with the seasonal influenza vaccine, namely those suffering from chronic diseases: heart diseases, kidney diseases, respiratory diseases, nervous system disorders, diabetes, congenital diseases and acquired immunodeficiency, metabolic syndrome, and obese people.
He has noted that the health authorities of the states from which the pilgrims hail must raise their awareness against the infectious diseases and their types, symptoms, transmission ways, complications, and prevention means.
Dr. Al-Merghalani further expounded that the Ministry bans the entry of the foods brought by those coming to the Kingdom, including the pilgrims, among their luggage, unless they are canned and tightly sealed or in easy-open pots in order to be examined, and with amounts sufficing those who travel by land, only the travelling distance.
He also affirmed that in case there is an emergency case arousing an international alarm or the outbreak of diseases subjected to the international health regulations in any state from which pilgrims come, the Kingdom's health authorities could take any additional precautionary measures towards those coming from theses states, which have not been mentioned among the above-mentioned conditions, in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) at once. And this is in order to avoide the infection spread among the pilgrims or transferred to their countries.

Last Update : 13 October 2012 09:47 AM
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