Skip to main content

Assessment of resident physicians and other health services provided by local hamlas during Hajj 1426 H


In addition to the free health services provided by government of Saudi Arabia to all the hajjis, some local hamlas provide additional health facilities for their hajjis within the camps. This study was conducted by the Field Epidemiology Training Program to evaluate these health services and assess their benefits to hajjis and their role in reducing utilization of governmental health facilities.


A cross sectional study was conducted in a simple random sample of 30 camps, using ministry of Hajj record. An interview schedule was used to collect information from directors of hamlas and resident physicians about available health services; and a self- administered questionnaire was used to collect information from 500 hajjis about their health problems and health service utilization. Data collection was done from 8 th to 12 th Dhu'ul Hajja, 1426 hijra in Mina by a team of doctors.


Out of the 30 hamlas included in the study, 20 had health care facilitates for hajjis within the camps, while 10 did not. Hamlas with health services had higher costs than hamlas without health services. Physicians were available in all 20 camps with health facilities and majorities were satisfied with their work. Commonest medicines prescribed for hajjis analgesic/antipyretic, followed by antibiotics and antihistamines/ decongestants. Out of 500 hajjis, 101 (20.2%) hajjis fell sick. Among the 68 sick hajjis who lived in camps with health facilities 92.6% were seen by the camp physician. It was calculated that 67.6% (95% CI 28.6% - 85.3%) of hajjis' visit to PHC can be reduced among hajjis staying in camps without health facilities if they are provided health facility within camp. 85.7% of hajjis who visited a camp health facility were satisfied.


This study showed that health services within the camps are beneficial for hajjis and are acceptable to them. These facilities can help in providing care for minor illness and immediate care for serious illness to hajjis and thus can reduce the load on government primary health care facilities.