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Utilization of Health Services at Gulf Medical Mission Clinics, Makkah, 1420 H.


Annually each Gulf country sends an official mission including both Religious Affairs and a medical mission comprised of a team from the ministry of health. Gulf medical mission clinics (GMMC) provide primary health care services. Utilization of health services and profiles of Hajjees attending the Saudi primary health care centers and hospitals have been studied, but there no studies conducted for the medical missions of different countries. The objective of this study is to identify the pattern of health services provided by the Gulf medical missions, by measuring different health indicators including, characteristics of patients attending the Gulf medical mission, pattern of workload at Gulf medical mission, most common illness among patients attending the Gulf medical mission and most common drugs prescribed


Some information needed to achieve the objectives of the study were obtained from the chiefs of medical missions. In Makkah the study was conducted for three days from 5th-7th Dhul Hijjah, using a special form designed to fit on one page. Systematic random sample was used, sampling proportion depending on the average of the previous year's daily attendance. In order to obtain an adequate number of patients to allow comparison between GMMC, it was initially planned to conduct the study for three days in Mina. However, it was difficult to conduct the study using the same technique, since the circumstances in Mina are not the same as in Makkah, and most clinics in Mina were writing prescriptions only, and were not maintaining registers or records.


According to the sample technique used in this study, 983 records were collected. The number of visits/physician and visits/nurse varied between GMMC. The maximum was for Oman, the number of visits/physician reaching 131.6 for male clinics and 56.6 for females. The minimum was for Bahrain, reaching a maximum of 6.0 for male clinics and 7.3 for females. The workload showed a consistent daily bimodal pattern, the busiest periods were between 6-11 A.M and 6-10 P.M. Overall, males were 69% and females were 31% with ratio about 2:1, this ratio was found in all (GMMC). Most of the patients were in the 25-44 year age group (45.5%) and 45-64 year age group (45.0%). Attendants were citizens of the same mission: 88.2% for Bahrain, 73.4% for Oman, 18.3% for Qatar, 36.5% for UAE, and 54.3% for Kuwait. The most common symptoms among the patients attending (GMMC) were cough (45.9%), sore throat (45.8%), and runny nose (20.7%). The leading causes of morbidity among patients diagnosed at (GMMC) were respiratory (58.9%) and gastrointestinal diseases (11.3%). The most common groups of drugs prescribed were analgesics (73.4%) followed by antibiotics (38.1%).


The workload was higher in male clinics, showing a consistent daily bimodal pattern, indicating the importance of covering these periods by the maximum number of medical staff. It is important to avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful medications and to educate Hajjees to avoid overcrowding, to use masks, and when to seek medical advice. With the number of Hajjees from Gulf countries increasing every year, expected to exceed 100.000 in the next few years, coordination is needed between Gulf countries in preventive and curative activities during Hajj.