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Sources of health education for international Arabic pilgrims, and the effect of this education on their practices toward the health hazard in hajj, Hajj of 2006 AD, 1427 H.


The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Islamic countries annually carries out health education to educate pilgrims about how to deal with health hazards that can be encountered in Hajj. So, this study was done mainly to identify the main health education messages, with their sources, imparted to international Arab pilgrims performing Hajj during 1427 Hijra, and to study the relationship between these messages and practices of these pilgrims.


The study was conducted as a cross sectional study, using self-administered questionnaires. A multistage stratified random cluster sampling technique was used, to identify the international Arabic pilgrims to be recruited into the study.


A total of 500 pilgrims were included in this study, out of them 90.2 were male, their age range from 11 to 84 years with mean of 43.5 ( SD of 11.9). 64.6% of pilgrims received health education about health hazards in Hajj in their native countries, 40.8% received it on their way to Saudi Arabia, and 45.4% received it in Saudi Arabia. Main channel used for health education in native countries was TV (56.7%), on the way to Saudi Arabia was pamphlets (53.4%), and also, in SA it was pamphlets (64.8%). When we evaluated pilgrim's knowledge about the important hazards in Hajj, about 32% of pilgrims scored 0-3 out of 9, 30% scored 4-6 out of 9, and about 38% scored 7-9 out of 9. About 62.6% of pilgrims received educational message about the importance of meningitis vaccine ( 92.3% out of them received vaccine), 46.2% of them received educational message about the precaution that should be taken during hair shaving (53.5% out of them went to specialized barber shop, 32.4 % used razor blade for shaving, and only 8.3% of those used razor blade shared the razor blade with other), 54.2% of pilgrims received educational message about the importance of carrying emergency drugs during the journey ( 63.3 % out of those who developed health problems during the journey used their own medication), 46.2% of pilgrims received educational message about the safe ways to avoid getting infection from others ( 70.1% used facial mask), and finally about 51.6% of pilgrims received an education message about the importance of wearing a wrist band ( 92.6 % out of them used wrist band or other device for identification).


This study has shown that the health education provided to international Arabic pilgrims is still inadequate; especially in their native countries. The provider for health education didn't use all of the possible channels to deliver the educational messages to pilgrims, in addition to that, the important messages were not provided to pilgrims adequately. So, the practice of high-risk behaviors is still prevalent.