Public Health Ministry to give free vaccines to Thai Hajj pilgrims


SONGKLA, 29 May 2012  – The Ministry of Public Health is set to offer 21,000 free doses of vaccines against influenza and meningococcal meningitis to Thai Muslims pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform this year’s Hajj. 

Public Health minister Witthaya Buranasiri said on the sideline of a health-promotion strategy forum in Songkla province that the annual pilgrimage to Mecca attracts approximately 3 million Muslims and overcrowding often resulted in outbreaks of flu and meningococcal meningitis.

To minimize the risk of contracting these diseases, the ministry is providing additional health services for Thai pilgrims by setting up provincial Hajj clinics in the Southernmost provinces. The clinics are established to treat patients’ pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, prior to the pilgrimage.

Interested parties can register at their provincial public health offices for free vaccines and health check-ups.