No health issue occurred during Haj: WHO

Updated August 28, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed satisfaction over culmination of Haj without any major health issue, as an estimated 2.7 million Muslims from 109 countries performed the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The preliminary surveillance data, WHO said, revealed no outbreak of health concern as there were no cases of cholera, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or other emerging infectious diseases.

Available information showed a 12 per cent decrease in the number of heat exhaustion cases and sunstroke among pilgrims compared with the same period last year, while health services were well prepared to provide timely treatment in case of need. Morbidity and mortality attributed to seasonal influenza were also lower than in previous years.

The WHO regional office for eastern Mediterranean, in a statement, expressed deep appreciation for the preparedness measures implemented by the health authorities of Saudi Arabia to prevent and mitigate any public health threat during this year’s Haj.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2018