MOH News
Dr. Nasser Al-Dosari Recommends Pilgrimage by Proxy for Patients with Chronic Diseases
16 October 2012
   Dr. Nasser bin Falah Al-Dosari, liver diseases consultant, advised patients with chronic diseases to perform Hajj by proxy (in Arabic: al-niyabah): those who cannot perform Hajj due to advanced cirrhosis, especially patients with ascites and repeated hepatic coma, as well as those with moderate and severe colitis, who suffer repeated bloody diarrhea and anemia, and need a rest to take drugs and drink liquids frequently.

Al-Dosari gave these tips while being hosted by the MOH Medical Media Information and Health Awareness Center, within the framework of the service dubbed: “Pilgrims' Health Is Our Concern" on the toll-free number 8002494444.

Al-Dosari advised pilgrims in general and patients with liver and rectum diseases who suffer digestive problems in particular to see doctors before pilgrimage to be sure they can withstand the rituals. He said patients must check if they need special instructions or drugs during Hajj. He asked pilgrims to take the necessary abdomen and colon drugs upon consultation with a gastroenterologist.

On the vaccines for patients of gastrointestinal disease to alleviate the symptoms of gastroenterology and colon diseases, Al-Dosari said there were vaccines for hepatitis A, especially for young people who never got infected by this virus or who suffer immunodeficiency or chronic diseases. He said there is a vaccine for hepatitis B, but it must be taken up to six months beforehand in three doses to be effective. He added that other vaccines exist for chronic patients, including those with liver diseases and immunodeficiency, and who take immunosuppressive drugs. But he said there were no vaccines for colon diseases.

Dr. Nasser pointed out that pilgrims should avoid food poisoning by washing hands with soap before meals and after using toilets. He said fruits and vegetables must be washed properly and food cooked well. And he advised pilgrims to avoid the food exposed to insects or refrigerated improperly. He said food must be heated sufficiently before consumption. He urged pilgrims to drink a lot of liquids and fresh juices, take enough rest during Hajj, avoid crowded places, and not get exposed directly to sunlight.

Dr. Nasser cautioned pilgrims of the dangers of shaving in an unhygienic manner, advising the "use of razors for one time only and using authorized barbers for haircut. Contaminated razors are dangerous as they carry several infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B and C and AIDS and others.

He advised pilgrims to put on masks in crowded places, not spit on the floor, and use napkins and put them in the dustbins to avoid infecting other pilgrims, wishing them safety, wellness and that Allah accepts their deeds.

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