BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 16 Nov 2009
Hajj pilgrims from the emirate of Dubai can avail of H1N1 vaccinations at Dubai Health Authority's (DHA) selected health centres, according to DHA officials.
Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Bin Kalban, CEO of Primary Health Sector at the DHA, said, "Primary health clinics located in Al Mamzar, Al Tawar, Mankhool, Nadd Al Sheba, Hatta and Al Safa are among the selected DHA health centres."
He encouraged pilgrims to visit the centres and get administered with the H1N1 vaccination as it's compulsory for all the UAE pilgrims heading towards the holy site in Saudi Arabia. The vaccines will be provided free of cost.
"In order to assist the Hajj pilgrims, all the designated health centres will be operational from Sunday to Thursday from 7am to 10pm and on Saturday between 8am and 1pm," said Dr Kalban.
"The pilgrims, before leaving the UAE, have to show a health certificate to prove that they have received H1N1 vaccination. The yellow health card is significant as it helps save the lives of pilgrims who arrive at the holy site, though KSA has not made it mandatory for pilgrims to be vaccinated against H1N1," he added.
As part of its standard preventive measures required for the Haj pilgrimage, the Ministry of Health (MoH) had earlier started administering vaccines for seasonal flu and meningitis free of cost to the pilgrims.
Dr Emad Abdul Karim, Consultant of Community Medicine and Vaccinology at the MOH said the Haj pilgrims have to receive three vaccines, including the compulsory vaccination for H1N1 and Meningitis (Meningococcal) and the optional one for seasonal flu.
"About 6,228 pilgrims from the UAE are expected to leave the country for performing Hajj this year. Out of the total registered pilgrims, 1,000 are nationals," said the MoH officials.