Before you travel, here are health conditions you should know
Nigeria and 22 other countries have been given health conditions for the 2017 Hajj.
One of these things is that we have been given some health conditions by the Saudi Arabian authorities.
According to a Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) report, Nigerian pilgrims need to have polio vaccinations within the last twelve months or at least four weeks before departure, and proof of this vaccination.
“The Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia has issued health requirements and recommendations for entry into Saudi Arabia during the Hajj season, including requirements relating to polio vaccination.
Regardless of age, all travellers from certain, specified countries must show proof of vaccination against polio within the last twelve months and at least four weeks before departure.
All travellers from these countries will also receive one dose of oral polio vaccine on arrival in Saudi Arabia," the report adds.
These are the conditions to enter the country during the Hajj season.
The report also gives reasons for these conditions and why polio needs to be eradicated especially in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, where it can still be found on a regular basis.
It states, “While the pilgrimage is a holy time, it also presents health risks as people are coming together from many countries where they may have been exposed to different infectious diseases.
“Polio eradication will generate savings of US$50 billion (N20 trillion) over the next 20 years. The polio programme is taking steps to ensure that the knowledge acquired, the tools developed and the infrastructure established by the polio programme would continue to benefit other child health challenges long after polio is gone."
“Polio eradication will generate savings of US$50 billion (N20 trillion) over the next 20 years. The polio programme is taking steps to ensure that the knowledge acquired, the tools developed and the infrastructure established by the polio programme would continue to benefit other child health challenges long after polio is gone.
“Until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in these countries, all countries remain at risk of importation of polio, especially vulnerable countries with weak public health and immunisation services and travel or trade links to endemic countries.
“If polio is not eradicated, we could see a global resurgence of the disease, with as many as 200,000 new cases each year within a decade. The programme must remain vigilant and strive for continued improvement to stop it once and for all.”
The report is titled: "Protect against polio this Hajj."
Nigeria is not the only country that has been given health conditions for this year's pilgrimage.
Apart from our nation, there are 22 other countries that have these same requirements.
These fall under the World Health Organisation (WHO) African, European, Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asian, and Western Pacific Regions.
They are Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Niger, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.
Others are Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen, Myanmar, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Ukraine.
This year's Hajj is expected to start on Wednesday, August 30th and end on Monday, September 4, 2017.
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