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Health requirments for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims in 2011

December 2008: A Saudi policeman directs pilgrims at Mount Arafat, southeast of holy city of Mecca (Source: Getty Images)

Health Ministry issues 2011 pilgrim health requirements

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has issued its inoculation requirements for Haj and Umrah pilgrims coming into the Kingdom in 2011.
Khalid Marghalani, spokesman for the ministry, said the new regulations concern yellow fever, meningitis, polio and seasonal flu, and that the Kingdom’s embassies and representatives abroad have been informed to issue no visas until applicants have complied with the conditions.

Marghalani said that persons from yellow-fever-designated nations must provide certificates of vaccinations meeting international health requirements against the virus in order to apply for a pilgrim visa. The vaccination must have been administered a minimum of 10 days and a maximum 10 years prior to arrival in the Kingdom.

All modes of transport arriving from those designated countries must also provide a valid certificate certifying that all mosquitoes aboard have been exterminated.
He named those countries as Angola, Benin, Sudan, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Burundi, Chad, Uganda, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Kenya, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ecuador, Guyana, Brazil, Bolivia, Surinam, Peru, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina and Paraguay.
Marghalani said that all pilgrims or persons from abroad wishing to enter Haj sites must provide proof of vaccination against meningitis administered a minimum of 10 days prior to arrival and a maximum of three years, with authorities in the country of origin also administering adults and children of two years of age and over the ACYW135 vaccination. Pilgrims proceeding from African belt nations, in addition to requiring the ACYW135 vaccination, will be administered upon their arrival by Saudi health authorities a single 500 milligram dose of Ciprofloxacin. As for child polio, Marghalani said that persons proceeding from designated countries where polio is prevalent are required to present certificates no more than 15 years old before they arrive in the Kingdom by a minimum of six weeks. They will be administered orally upon arrival a further dose of polio vaccination.
Marghalani named polio countries as: Angola, Uganda, Niger, Mali, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Senegal, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Russia and Turkmenistan.
The ministry spokesman also advised all pilgrims to be vaccinated against seasonal flu before coming to the Kingdom, particularly persons suffering from heart, kidney or respiratory or metabolism conditions, diabetes, HIV, congenital immunodeficiency, or pregnant women or overweight people.