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Stay healthy during Hajj

Stay healthy during Hajj
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What are the health requirements for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia?

Hajj this year runs from 9 August. The Saudi authorities will inspect your vaccination certificates when you enter the country. If you cannot present them, you may be turned away at the border, or detained.

If you’ve left it to the last minute to get the necessary vaccination certificates, come and see us anyway: we may still be able to help. We can offer same-day appointments, and some of our vaccination centres are open on Saturdays.

What health certificates do I need before Hajj?

Hajj pilgrims need a certificate of vaccination against meningococcal meningitis.

You may need a yellow fever certificate if you have come from a country at risk of yellow fever transmission. The same goes for polio: if you are travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj via a country where polio is a risk then you will need a certificate of vaccination.

Read more about the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health’s regulations for Hajj 2019.

What other shots might be recommended for Hajj?

The Government of Canada states in its Hajj factsheet that vaccination against hepatitis A and B are recommended for travellers performing Hajj this year.

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health also recommends you get a flu shot before travelling for Hajj, as upper respiratory infections are common during this pilgrimage.

How can I stay healthy during Hajj?

When you come for your appointment at our travel clinic in Ottawa, or one of our other branches the nurse will give you some advice to support any vaccinations you may be having. You are welcome to ask any questions about health in Saudi Arabia.

Remember that like many pilgrimages, performing Hajj is arduous. You will be a hot, dry climate that is very different from what you experience in Canada. This puts a strain on your body, and it can make you more susceptible to illness. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke and know when you should seek medical help.

Your travel health adviser can tell you how to reduce the chances of getting a respiratory infection or a food- or water-borne disease.

Hajj pilgrims are well looked after by the government of Saudi Arabia. But remember that huge numbers of people travel for Hajj. So, it can be hard to access healthcare. A few basic medical supplies brought from Canada will allow you to treat minor illnesses. Don’t forget to bring any prescription meds you need, too, along with their prescriptions.

What health information is there for pilgrims?

We have a library of travel articles in which we share some general health tips for any visit to the Middle East. And we also have an article about health during pilgrimage. We recommend checking the Government of Canada’s Hajj and Umrah fact sheet.

Where can I get travel vaccinations in Calgary Downtown?

If you need an appointment at a travel clinic in Calgary, turn to Canadian Travel Clinics. It is quick and easy to book online.