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Pre-Hajj Disaster Preparedness for Arab hajjes, Hajj seasons 1433 H (2012 G).


Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) is an annual Islamic ritual, and it is a compulsory worship for each adult Muslim who is physically and financially able. Many Muslims gathered in Makkah from different countries all over the world to perform hajj. Hajj season is considered one of the biggest world mass gathering. So, as a result many disasters can occur. Flooding, fires and stampedes are examples of frequent disasters occurred in Makkah during hajj caused a lot of mortality and morbidity. The objective is to identify Arab countries providing pre-Hajj disaster preparedness for their Hajjes, to assess knowledge of Arab Hajjes toward Hajj disasters and to compare knowledge of Arab Hajjes who received disaster preparedness with those who did not.


a cross-sectional survey constituting of two parts to include both Arab hajj missions and Arab hajjes by using two parts of self administered questionnaire. 1st part distributed and collected during the celebration organized by Saudi MOH for all hajj missions' leaders, while 2nd part questionnaire distributed and collected from hajjes during Mena period of hajj by simple random cluster technique and Mena map was the guidance.


10 Arab countries out of 17 included in this study providing pre-hajj preparedness for their hajjes. Most frequent disasters discussed in these sessions were fires and stampedes with frequency of 8 (47.1%) for each of them. Regarding hajjes' knowledge toward hazards of flooding, (81.7%) preferred to never walk through the catchment and 348 (76.8%) they will avoid to drive through catchment. Regarding hajjes' knowledge toward hazards of fires, 368 (81.2%) will leave immediately the closed area and 367 (81.0%) will follow emergency exits in multi-storing building. Regarding hajjes' knowledge toward hazards of stampedes, 370 (81.7%) said they preferred to avoid walking in the crowding time and 339 (74.8%) will go in group to (ramie aljamarat). Comparison of the knowledge of hajjes who received pre-hajj disaster preparedness to those who didn't by scaling system showed that the mean of the grades is 3.5 to 3 with (P=0.002), 3.6 to 2.9 (P=0.0000) and 3.8 to 3.1 (P=0.0000) for the knowledge about the three types of disasters floods, fires and stampedes respectively.


The study revealed that 10 out 17 Arab countries included in this study providing pre-hajj disaster preparedness for their hajjes. The knowledge of Arab hajjes about the behavior toward hajj disasters (flooding, fires and stampedes) was varying, and effect of the pre-hajj disaster preparedness was associated and the difference in the knowledge between the groups received preparedness and not received was significant.