MOH News
Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini Provides Medical Tips for Diabetics during Hajj
24 September 2014
Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini, Consultant in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Diabetes has advised all diabetics to bring with them a detailed medical report about their conditions and medicines and doses they take. Similarly, Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini emphasized that every diabetic wishing to perform Hajj bearing a card identifying their disease, medicine and doses, or a bracelet showing on its back sufficient information about their condition, as well as carrying along all their medications in quantities sufficient during the Hajj period; so as not to encounter any problems preventing them from performing the Hajj.
Still, Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini pointed out that the doctor is the only one who decides whether the diabetic can perform the Hajj or not, especially if they have an ailing kidney or the hardening of the coronary arteries, adding that the diabetics must undergo thorough examinations, including kidney function and level of hemoglobin in the blood before deciding to perform the Hajj.
In a similar fashion, Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini affirmed that the diabetic wishing to perform the Hajj without health problems should follow a diet and exercise program, and take medicine on a regular basis. This, in turn, is instrumental to performing the Hajj rituals easily and safely, Allah willing.
This came during the Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini’s interview at the MOH's National Center for Media and Health Awareness in the context of the awareness program dubbed "Pilgrims' Health is our Concern" ,which has been launched by the MOH for the eleventh consecutive year. The interview was held via the toll-free number: 8002494444, and the MOH Twitter account: @saudimoh.
All the more, Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini’s has advised the diabetics with the peripheral nerves damaged to use wheel chair during the Tawaf and Saie instead of walking on feet as well as taking vaccination against the seasonal influenza and meningitis. Besides, she noted that among the most important recommendations for treating diabetes is taking this vaccination every year and before the beginning of winter, in addition to be vaccinated against the pneumococcal bacteria once in lifetime. This is according to the local and international studies, resolutions and recommendations.
Dr. Al-Sherbini went on to add that diabetics should wear medical and comfortable shoes and cotton socks and take care of their feet to avoid injuries and ulcers leading - Allah forbid! - to inflammation and gangrene, and hence amputation of the feet.
As regards the medical kit to be carried by the diabetic pilgrims, Dr. Al-Sherbini underscored the importance of having in the bag sufficient quantities of medications whether in form of pills or insulin doses, or containing sugar testing device and adequate amount of tapes. She also made clear that the patients taking insulin, in particular, should do sugar testing at least 3 times a day. And she also advised them to bring along in their medical kits additional batteries and medical swabs as well as the other medicines, especially if they have other chronic diseases, bearing in mind that the diabetics, in most cases, suffer from the chronic diseases such as hypertension and high cholesterol.
She also advised the patients who takes insulin to carry with them the Glucagon injection, an ambulatory syringe to be taken if they experienced an abrupt decline in sugar or coma, Allah forbids, pointing to the importance of these injections which adjust the sugar level directly and quickly. She went on saying that the coma occurs when the sugar is either low or high, especially when older people and those with high sugar do not take their medicine regularly. She also advised the patients using insulin to keep it in a cold container to prevent its damage.
She warned the diabetics from shipping the insulin amidst their luggage either by land or by air, and encouraged them, instead, to be sure to keep it in the hand bag, noting that the temperature in the plane cargo is very low to the point of freezing. Moreover, if the diabetic is forced to ship the insulin in the luggage, he must keep it in a closed cork box or nylon bubbles and place it in the center of the kit among the clothing. Also, she advised them to have in their handbags some sugar cubes, candies and juices in the event they should experience low sugar during the flight. 
Within the same vein, on tomorrow Thursday 1/12/1435H, the Center is to host Dr. Nasser Al-Dosary, Liver and Digestive Diseases Consultant give some main tips for the pilgrims suffering from the liver, colon and rectum and gastrointestinal diseases. The interview is to take place from 1-3 pm, via the abovementioned toll free number and MOH's Twitter account.

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