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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 17/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Experts at twitter clinic gives tips to those who plan to go on pilgrimage The Dubai Health Authority has asked the elderly children pregnant women and people with terminal diseases to reconsider their Haj plans this year.

Due to the risk of certain respiratory illnesses the DHA has recommended that people over 65 years children under 12 pregnant women people with cancer or terminal illnesses people with chronic diseases (such as heart disease kidney disease diabetes or respiratory disease) should postpone plans to go on Haj this year. Specialists during the DHA’s twitter clinic. — Supplied photo

This was said during DHA’s live twitter clinic to discuss health aspects before during and after the Haj pilgrimage held on Thursday.

The two-hour live DHA clinic known as the #smart_clinic on DHA’s twitter account DHA_Dubai addressed Q&As on health aspects during the Haj pilgrimage and DHA’s panel of experts disseminated several health tips with regard to vaccinations prevention of heat strokes ways to avoid food poisoning and health precautions for a safe Haj.

Dr Nusaiba Al Behandy specialist registrar at the Al Mankhool Traveller’s Clinic said: “The most important step for any Haj pilgrim is to avail of the necessary vaccines at least 10 days prior to the date of travel. Ideally travellers should visit the DHA Primary Healthcare Centres one month in advance.”

She added that the meningococcal vaccine is mandatory the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone undertaking the pilgrimage and the pneumonia vaccine is highly recommended for immune-compromised patients the elderly and those with chronic diseases such as diabetes heart problems etc. Medicines and food

Dr Hend AlAwadhi specialist registrar at the Al Mankhool Traveller’s Clinic advised that people should carry enough stock of their medications especially if they suffer from a chronic disease that requires them to take medications regularly.

She added: “They must visit their physician prior to travel so that they carry their necessary medications. They should also carry their prescription and a detailed report of the medical diagnosis and history and keep it with them at all times.”

She also advocated that people with low immunity should take all necessary vaccines. “Other basic precautions such as drinking lots of fluids to keep one-self hydrated consuming foods rich in vitamin C regular hand washing and use of hand sanitisers are essential. All pilgrims should also be aware of salmonella poisoning which can occur when food is uncooked or under-cooked or kept outside for long hours. Pilgrims should ensure that they consume food within two hours of it being cooked. Food which is cooked and kept at room temperature or in the bus beyond two hours is prone to get bacterial growth which can lead to serious problems such as food poisoning.” Shaving

Dr Ayesha Altheeb specialist registrar at the Al Mankhool Traveller’s Clinic said: “People who want to shave or cut their hair during the pilgrimage should follow certain precautions to avoid transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis B hepatitis C and HIV. They should ensure that the barber is licensed and that he uses a single-use razor and disposes the blade of immediately. “Never share shaving equipment with others and do not walk barefoot to ensure no used needle or razor pricks your leg” added Altheeb.

Altheeb added that pilgrims should avoid kissing and hugging when greeting others they must ensure they never share a prayer mat and should use their own mat they should not touch their eyes nose or mouth without washing hands and they should avoid direct sunlight for long hours. Sunstroke

She said that it is important for Haj pilgrims to protect themselves from heat exhaustion and sunstroke. “Avoid Tawaf Sa’i Arafat and Mina during high temperatures or ensure that you are well protected against the sun rays and are well hydrated.”

It is important to know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion/sunstroke. “If one experiences high body temperature nausea fatigue cramps thirst headaches or excessive sweating it’s important to move away from a sunny place cool the body with cold water and if necessary head to the nearest medical facility or contact your campaign doctor immediately” said Altheeb.

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