MOH News
Medical Tips for Diabetics during Hajj
17 September 2015
The consultant in internal medicine, endocrinology and diabetes, Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini has advised all diabetics to have a detailed medical report on their conditions, medicines and doses they take. She urged diabetics wishing to perform Hajj to carry a card with details of their disease, medicine, dosage; or a bracelet showing on its back sufficient information about their condition, as well as carrying along all their medications in sufficient quantities during the Hajj period.

Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini pointed out that only doctors determine whether the diabetic can perform Hajj or not, especially if they have an ailing kidney or arteriosclerosis (hardening of the coronary arteries), noting that diabetics must undergo thorough examinations, including kidney function and level of hemoglobin in the blood before deciding to perform the Hajj.

This came during Al-Sherbini’s interview at the MOH's Media Information and Health Awareness Center in the context of the health awareness program dubbed: "Pilgrims' Health Is Our Top Concern", which has been launched by the MOH via the toll-free number: 8002494444, and the MOH Twitter account: @saudimoh.

Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini affirmed that the diabetic wishing to perform Hajj without health problems should follow a diet, exercise program, and take medicine on a regular basis. This, in turn, is instrumental in performing Hajj rituals easily and safely, Allah willing.

All the more, Dr. Safia Al-Sherbini has advised the diabetics with the peripheral nerves damaged to use wheelchair during circumambulation of the Ka'ba (Tawaf), and the ritual of going between al-Safa and al-Marwa hills (Sa'i), 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 getting vaccinated against the pneumococcal bacteria every five years 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, 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 sufficient quantities of medications, whether in form of pills or insulin doses. The kit should also contain 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 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 take insulin, to carry with them the Glucagon injection, and an ambulatory syringe to be taken if they experienced an abrupt decline in sugar or coma, Allah forbids, pointing out to the importance of these injections which adjust the sugar level directly and quickly. She went on saying that coma occurs when the sugar is either low or high, especially in cases 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. 

Al-Sherbini warned the diabetics of shipping the insulin amidst their luggage either by land or by air, and encouraged them, instead, to make sure to keep it in a handbag, 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, they must keep it in a closed cork box or wrap it in nylon air bubbles and place it in the center of the kit among the clothing. Also, she advised them to have in their handbags. She also recommended the patient to carry some sugar cubes, candies and juices in the event they should experience low sugar during the flight.

 
 



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