HEALTH ADVICE FOR PILGRIMS

You should see your doctor one or two months before you travel. The doctor will be able to help determine your general state of health and offer professional medical advice on precautionary measures or other related information.

Vaccination against meningococcal meningitis is compulsory (also a visa application requirement). Meningococcal meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain. Each injection lasts for 3 years. Vaccination against influenza is recommended for middle-aged, elderly travellers or those with pre-existing illness, e.g. diabetes, asthma, hypertension.

Strains for vaccines are determined by WHO (World Health Organization) every year. Those with egg allergy should inform the nurse or doctor as influenza vaccination should not be given to this category of people. Vaccination against cholera and typhoid are available upon request. Each cholera injection lasts for 6 months. Each typhoid injection lasts for 3 years.

As with all injections, you might experience some swelling and redness over the injection site, and an occasional low-grade fever. Serious reactions are rare. If you develop a fever for more than one day, a headache, a rash, enlarging lump or pus over the injection site, please see your doctor.

These injections are available at:

  • Travellers’ clinics within Hospitals
  • Selected GP’s
  • National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, [wef July 2018], namely:
    1. Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
    2. Geylang Polyclinic
    3. Hougang Polyclinic
    4. Toa Payoh Polyclinic
    5. Woodlands Polyclinic
    6. Yishun Polyclinic

See here for a full list.

a) If you have any pre-existing illness (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, kidney related diseases), you should see your regular doctor who will certify if you are fit for travel.

b) To prevent food and water-borne diseases you should take the following precautionary measures:

Drink water that is boiled, canned or bottled. Avoid ice-water. Eat food that is thoroughly cooked and hot. Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled.

c) The temperature in Makkah is hot (30C – 45C) and dry. To prevent dehydration, drink as much fluid as possible. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Apply moisturiser and lip balm liberally whenever you can.

You are advised to consult your doctor.

Your child below 2 years of age cannot be vaccinated against meningitis.However, the child may be vaccinated against influenza. The same health precautionary measures applies to the child.

If you develop a rash, fever or persistent diarrhoea, you should see your doctor and notify him/her about your recent trip abroad. The doctor will be in a better position to offer professional advice.