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Health related experiences among International Pilgrims departing through King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Hajj Season 1431 H (2010 G).


Hajj terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah has been the main facility for processing pilgrims visiting Makkah and Madinah for the Hajj and Umrah purposes. The study aims at assessment of health related experiences among pilgrims departing through this terminal, Hajj season 1431 H (2010 G).


A cross-sectional survey has been conducted; using a single stage stratified random cluster sampling technique, with probability proportionate to size. Stratification was based upon five geographical groups of countries. Thirteen languages self-administered questionnaires have been used to collect the data.


A total of 1717 pilgrims agreed to participate in the study. A mean age was (46.20 ± 11.53). The study showed 63.7% were male pilgrims, 54.1% received university or above education, 83.7% performed the Hajj for first time, 44.6% have not use the face mask and strong association was shown between fever and not using face mask (p=0.007), 39.5% had shaved their heads at authorized barber, 75.7% were sure that the blade was new, 63.6% and 52.4% were vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis and seasonal influenza, 64% brought 1st aid bag for Hajj, 21.7% had trapped in elevator, Hajj mission and restaurants were the main food source for 42% and 24.8% respectively, and a strong association between eating from restaurant and developing of abdominal pain (p=0.02) and diarrhea (p=0.007), 11.3% had foot injury secondary to walking barefoot, 27.1% had chronic diseases mainly Hypertension and Diabetes and among them 14.9% fell sick secondary to chronic disease worsening, the most frequent complaint was cough 72.2% and it was strongly related to crowdedness (p=0.001), 51.4% had visited one or more of the health facilities and strong association was shown between less education and visiting health facilities(p=0.001), 42.5% and 42.9% were fully satisfied with availability and quality of Saudi health facilities.


The overall impression of pilgrims reflects their satisfaction towards this Hajj season and revealed that there were no major problems for most of them. This study showed reasonable improvement in head shaving behaviors, influenza vaccine, walking barefoot and foot injury, which were good indicators of pilgrims' safety. Also, it showed an increase in chronic diseases cases, and decrease in immunization against meningococcal disease. Unmanageable crowdedness is the main cause for high acute respiratory infection among pilgrims.