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Polio shots a must for Somali, Kenyan Hajis
Monday, August 26, 2013
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The Ministry of Health has made it mandatory for all Haj pilgrims coming from Somalia and Kenya to produce polio vaccination certificates upon arrival in the Kingdom following the outbreak of an epidemic in the two countries.
A ministry official told Arab News on Sunday that the decision was taken after monitoring the polio outbreak situation in the two countries.
“These pilgrims should produce their polio vaccination certificate at the port of arrival in the Kingdom,” he said, adding that they should take the vaccination six weeks prior to arrival.
“Upon arrival, these pilgrims will be given another dose of polio vaccine irrespective of their age.”
He said the ministry has been following up on developments of epidemiological diseases in the world and was taking measures to keep them under control during the pilgrimage season. Besides polio, the focus this year is also on diseases such as yellow fever, meningitis and influenza.
In accordance with the health regulations of 2005, all travelers arriving from countries or areas at risk of yellow fever must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate attesting that the person was vaccinated at least 10 days and at most 10 years prior to arrival at the border.
In case of the absence of such a certificate, the individual will be placed under strict surveillance for six days from the date of vaccination or the last date of potential exposure to infection.
Health offices at entry points will be responsible for notifying the Director General of Health Affairs in the region or the Governorate about the temporary place of residence of the visitor.
Aircraft, ships and other means of transportation coming from countries hit by yellow fever have to submit a certificate indicating that it applied disinfectant in accordance with methods recommended by the WHO.
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