Going for Hajj this year
Here are some important things to know
TIPS BY DR ABDUL MAJID WANI
I went through the excellent article by Prof Khuroo in Greater Kashmir. The article was very interesting. But what is published in scientific journals is the data collected at some specialist care centre’s, like Al Noor Specialist Hospital. In one of these studies I was a participant. In another unpublished study from another secondary care hospital the most common cause of mortality was ventilator associated pneumonia and consequent sepsis, anoxic brain damage and language had no role as a barrier to treatment or outcome.
Let us share some common problems of South Asian pilgrims in general, and Kashmiris in particular. I have worked in the Holy City for 8 long years in two of the largest and busiest hospitals. These two hospitals used to receive the most of the patients evacuated from Old Al Jiad Hospital and Hospitals from Mina and Arafat till 2010 when King Abdullah Medical City became operational. The best service is provided to the pilgrims belonging to Turkish, Malaysian, Iranian, Algerian and Moroccan embassies in addition to Arab Nationals and Western pilgrims. Any pilgrim from these countries is accompanied by a medical translator, well equipped ambulance, and details of previous ailments and medications. Such patients are easy to manage even by those who have language barrier and are followed by their embassies till recovery or otherwise.
Unfortunately our pilgrims are the most neglected, elderly and most of them are exposed first time in their life to a city and largest gathering of people. Our embassy staff is negligent and most of the work is carried out by those already working as paramedical staff in these hospitals. These people have their own 12 hour schedule of duty during Hajj, so what care they can provide to innocent pilgrims. The doctors accompanying the pilgrims from their states are those who are in relation of a politician or a bureaucrat which is well known to our authorities. These well connected people come to perform Hajj and not to serve the pilgrims and most of our innocent hajjes land in hospitals without a medical attendant, translator and ambulance. These pilgrims are expected to meet the worst because of pressure of patient load and premature discharge from an intensive care setting or high-dependency.
Another worst problem is hajj guides from their states who are again political representatives and accompany the innocent pilgrims who pay huge sums and their dearest earnings of lifetime to perform the Hajj. These guides are busy in their own engagements. Same is true for those doctors sent to treat their accompanying pilgrims.
Lastly, some advice to the pilgrims who are going for Hajj this year;
-Do eat well during this pilgrimage as you need to eat
-Do not depend on dry Kulchas and dried vegetables as malnutrition and associated congestion will lead to influenza of all the occupants of a room and those with pre-existing medical problems can develop pneumonia, sepsis etc.
-Do take your important medication like antihypertensives, antidaibetic, cardiac and asthma /COPD medication as medication is important for your well being.
-Think before you buy for your kith and kin; at the time of return it costs you ten-times more. You can buy but use one-tenth of this for food and your personal care which is very cheap and high-quality. Your kith and kin want you back home in good health.
- Maintain your groups and take care of each other, particularly weaker ones, as your group-mate knows none but you.
Dr Abdul Majid Wani is Ex-consultant medicine, emergentologist, Gastroentrologist Hera General Hospital, Holy Makkah.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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