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This month, many people in Scotland will be taking a holiday abroad. Before travelling overseas, it is important to be aware of the possible health risks and how to prevent problems.
You may need to consider whether there are any specific health risks in the country you are travelling to for which you need to take precautions - for example, malaria.
Many of Scotland's Muslim community are expected to converge on Mecca as part of a global gathering of 3.9 million pilgrims; this is a journey that a Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime.
If you are travelling for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which takes place at the end of October this year, you will need to ensure you have been vaccinated against meningitis.
Following an increase in cases of meningitis and septicaemia during Hajj, since 2002, vaccination has been a visa entry requirement for pilgrims or for anyone travelling to Saudia Arabia around the same time as Hajj.
Pilgrims and travellers must have a certificate showing that they have been vaccinated at least ten days before travel but no more than three years before arrival. This also applies to seasonal workers in Hajj areas.
Through the Muslim Council of Britain, a national network of vaccination clinics has been set up across Scotland where the Menveo vaccine is offered to pilgrims travelling on Hajj or Umrah at a reduced price of no more than £35.
This cost includes the cost of the vaccine, administration and the certificate.
For more information on this programme, or to find your nearest clinic visit the Muslim Council of Britain’s vaccination website or call 08455 521 4160.
Travel clinics can also be contacted for information on vaccination and there is more information on the Fit For Travel website too.
NHS inform’s commonly asked questions:
Image courtesy of Flickr/ Blake Patterson