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Evaluation of an Educational Poster on Head Shaving During Hajj, 1999 (1419 H).


Annually, during the second week of the last lunar month of the Islamic calendar, more than 2 million Muslims gather in Makkah to perform Hajj. After finishing some of the Hajj rites, all male Hajjees have their heads shaved or cut, while female Hajjees need only to cut some of their hair. The problem of unhealthy head shaving is complicated further during the Hajj season because of 1) the huge number of Hajjees who must be shaved within a limited period and 2) the sizeable number of unprofessional barbers. Some recent studies have identified barbers practicing unhygienic head shaving (using non-disposable and unsterilized blades) and their clients as a risk group for acquiring blood-borne diseases. The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia developed many health education programs using different materials to increase the awareness of Hajjees about the health hazards associated with unhygienic head-shaving practices. The aim of this study is to assess the perception of the Hajjees to an educational poster about head shaving during Hajj.


A cross-sectional study was conducted among Omani Hajjees at their camp in Mina, Makkah, Saudi Arabia, during the Hajj season in 1999 (1419 H). Through a systematic sampling method, 104 Hajjees were interviewed using a standard questionnaire. Means, standard deviations (SD), odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.


The mean age of Hajjees in the sample studied was 42 years (±12.3). Sixty-nine (67.6%) of them were literate, and forty-seven Hajjees (46.5%) were performing Hajj for the first time. The poster message was perceived correctly by 50 (48%) hajjees, and the remaining 54 (52%) perceived it incorrectly. The risk of incorrect perception of the poster message was higher among illiterate Hajjees (OR=5.44, CI=1.9-16.2) and those not previously exposed to the poster (OR=5.88, CI=1.9-18.8).


Hajjees in the group studied perceived the poster message differently. The majority of Hajjees in this study sample incorrectly perceived the poster message. Illiterate Hajjees and those who were not previously exposed to the poster were at a greater risk of incorrect perception than literate Hajjees and those who were exposed to the poster. It was recommended that Posters should be pre-tested before their final production, distribution should include areas where most Hajjees are available, barbers should also receive the poster, a written message should be included in the poster to overcome visual literacy, and re-evaluation of the poster is needed after the application of the above recommendations.