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Global Health and Visa Policy Reform to Address Dangers of Hajj during Summer Seasons.
Front Public Health. 2016; 4:280.FP

Abstract

Every year on the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, 2-3 million Muslims from over 160 countries migrate to Holy sites in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj, representing one of the largest mass gathering events worldwide. Yet, the Hajj poses several challenges to global health and public safety, including the unique health risks posed by seasonal variability when Hajj occurs during summer months. Specifically, pilgrims taking the journey to Mecca are at higher risk for heat illnesses, heat-related injuries and exhaustion, and stampedes, when summer temperatures can reach up to 48.7°C. In response, we propose that the Saudi government, in coordination with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Health Organization, explore the establishment of an expert committee, create and use a predictive risk modeling tool, and establish a dynamic quota on Hajj visas to limit potential heat exposure for high-risk populations when the Hajj falls on seasons associated with extreme weather exposure. As climate change is projected to lead to future increases in temperatures in the region, this form of dynamic and evidence-based policymaking is needed to ensure human health and safety for generations of Hajj pilgrims to come.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Joint Masters Degree Program in Health Policy and Law, University of California San Diego School of Medicine - California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA, USA; King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.Joint Masters Degree Program in Health Policy and Law, University of California San Diego School of Medicine - California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA, USA; Department of Anesthesiology, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA, USA; Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA, USA; Global Health Policy Institute, San Diego, CA, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28066758

Citation

Aleeban, Mohanad, and Tim K. Mackey. "Global Health and Visa Policy Reform to Address Dangers of Hajj During Summer Seasons." Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 4, 2016, p. 280.
Aleeban M, Mackey TK. Global Health and Visa Policy Reform to Address Dangers of Hajj during Summer Seasons. Frontiers in public health. 2016;4:280.
Aleeban, M., & Mackey, T. K. (2016). Global Health and Visa Policy Reform to Address Dangers of Hajj during Summer Seasons. Frontiers in Public Health, 4, 280. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00280
Aleeban M, Mackey TK. Global Health and Visa Policy Reform to Address Dangers of Hajj During Summer Seasons. Frontiers in public health. 2016;4:280. PubMed PMID: 28066758.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Global Health and Visa Policy Reform to Address Dangers of Hajj during Summer Seasons. AU - Aleeban,Mohanad, AU - Mackey,Tim K, Y1 - 2016/12/22/ PY - 2016/11/11/received PY - 2016/12/07/accepted PY - 2017/1/10/entrez PY - 2017/1/10/pubmed PY - 2017/1/10/medline KW - Hajj KW - Umrah KW - climate change KW - disaster medicine KW - mass gatherings KW - pilgrimage KW - religious events SP - 280 EP - 280 JF - Frontiers in public health VL - 4 N2 - Every year on the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, 2-3 million Muslims from over 160 countries migrate to Holy sites in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj, representing one of the largest mass gathering events worldwide. Yet, the Hajj poses several challenges to global health and public safety, including the unique health risks posed by seasonal variability when Hajj occurs during summer months. Specifically, pilgrims taking the journey to Mecca are at higher risk for heat illnesses, heat-related injuries and exhaustion, and stampedes, when summer temperatures can reach up to 48.7°C. In response, we propose that the Saudi government, in coordination with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Health Organization, explore the establishment of an expert committee, create and use a predictive risk modeling tool, and establish a dynamic quota on Hajj visas to limit potential heat exposure for high-risk populations when the Hajj falls on seasons associated with extreme weather exposure. As climate change is projected to lead to future increases in temperatures in the region, this form of dynamic and evidence-based policymaking is needed to ensure human health and safety for generations of Hajj pilgrims to come. SN - 2296-2565 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28066758/full_citation L2 - https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00280 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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