Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year - that's as many as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.
Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world and occurs from the 8-13th day of the 12th month in the Islamic calendar. In 2017 Hajj will fall approximately between 30th August - 4th September. The SMoH strongly recommends that elderly (above 65 years of age) and those with chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes), immune deficiency (congenital and acquired), malignancy and terminal illnesses, pregnant women and children (under 12 years) postpone the performance of Hajj and Umrah in 2017 for their own safety. Pilgrims are advised to follow health guidelines to curb the spread of respiratory infections, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronovirus (MERS-CoV), to prevent diarrhoeal disease, and minimise heat-related problems, amongst others. The SMoH website includes useful health information and resources for pilgrims to this years Hajj. It is strongly recommended that all pilgrims obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance (including repatriation) before travel.
Outbreaks of measles have affected a number of European countries since the beginning of 2017. All national public health administrations emphasise the importance of vaccination to prevent further spread of infection.