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Behavioral Risk Factors for Diseases during the Pilgrimage to Makkah 1428 H/2007 G


Mina is a holy place where more than 2 million hajjis camp for at least 3 days during the annual pilgrimages to Makkah (Hajj). The objective of the study was to estimate the disease related Behavioral Risk Factors (BRF) among hajjis during Hajj 1428 (2007) and compare it with the studies conducted in 1422 H and 1418H.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted among hajjis while staying in Mina using a self-administered questionnaire. Sampling was done by single stage stratified random cluster sampling technique based on geographical mapping. The self-administered questionnaire used in 1422H was revised in light of the experience of the previous studies and translated into 12 languages.


Out of 1706 respondents (29 nationalities), 89.5% % were male, the mean age of hajjis was 42.2 year, and 61.3% were performing Hajj for the first time. Of all the Hajjis, 12.5% traveled between holy places on foot and another 39.4% traveled using both vehicles and walking. 56.3% less than 6 hours in the last 24 hours. After Arafat, 48.5% had their heads shaved with razor blades, 39.1% cut or shaved their head by a professional barber, while among them 6% used razor blades used by other hajjis. Among all hajjis the proportions of hajjis who were suffering from acute or chronic problems were 56.6% and 32.2% respectively. Among hajjis with chronic diseases, 73.9% brought their needed medication with them. Only 53.5% of hajjis had valid meningococcal meningitis vaccinations.


Compared with the previous BRF studies, this study showed improvement in some of the hajjis health behaviors i.e. increase in proportion of hajjis who ate cooked food supplied by hamla and drank sealed water, were vaccinated against influenza and cholera, and used face mask during hajj. However the study showed some results that should attract more attention like low proportion of hajjis who have valid meningococcal meningitis vaccinations, and had their hair cut by professional barbers. Also the study showed that a high proportion of hajjis have chronic or acute medical problems.