National Meningitis (ACWY) Vaccination Service for Hajj & Umrah pilgrims proving popular
07/16/2011

ACWY Vaccinations in the United Kingdom for Hajj & Umrah pilgrims and overseas travellers

Online PR News – 16-July-2011 – – Over 500 people have now been inoculated against Meningitis(ACWY) as part of a national campaign by the Council of British Hajjis (CBH) a national charity working for the welfare of British pilgrims to Hajj & Umrah and overseas travellers and hundreeds more anticipated for the September clinics in time for the Hajj season.
The ACWY is a requirement for those going on a pilgrimage to Makkah (Meccca, Saudi Arabia) and is being delivered at cost. Doctors and nurses from across the UK are volunteering their services with a volunteer recruitment drive it is attracting many more to help.

Meningitis jabs — essential for the religious pilgrimage of Hajj — can cost anything from £40 upto £80 from a GP, as they are classed as travel vaccines and are not available on the NHS. In some cases people have paid upto £200 for a jab and anything from £10 – £30 for a vaccination certificate which is an essential part of obtaining a pilgrimage visa.

However concerns were raised few years ago and the Council of British Hajjis, a national charity working for the welfare of British pilgrims started to address the issue and delivered with local partners and local NHS a cost-price vaccination service. Originally piloted in Bolton in 2009 around the time of the swine flu outbreak, the service has now taken off like a storm.

Rashid Mogradia, CEO at the CBH “Our travel clinics are now becoming very popular with almost daily requests from volunteers and doctors who would like to offer it in their towns and cities across the UK. Back in 2009 we delivered a similar clinic for the people of Yorkshire in light of the then swine flu outbreak which was very well received. It is clear some GP’s are charging extortionate amounts for a jab, and all we are doing is making it more affordable, encouraging uptake of the immunisations, which should ultimately prevent infections and reduce the burden on local NHS in treating people who become ill. We are also concerned at the rising costs of pilgrimages and will be looking in fine detail at the whole supply chain to bring down prices for the benefit of the public”

Dr Syed Mohiduin, who led the London clinic was proud to be supporting the CBH to deliver pre-travel health and safety advice and administering the jabs “I have lead the FCO British Medical Hajj Delegation for 10 years and understand the value of pre-travel health clinics and need to be inoculated against ACWY and other infectious diseases for a healthy Hajj & Umrah and why I would encourage others to support this initiative. The vaccinations are in line with the Saudi authorities requirement that all pilgrims are inoculated with the ACWY Meningitis vaccine and is an essential requirement for pilgrims to produce certification for a pilgrimage visa”.
Rabia Abowath one of those vaccinated at the Yorkshire clinic said “The service provided to me was excellent and the volunteers were friendly and helpful”
Another patient was Ismail Lajporia who travelled from Blackburn to Batley commented “the service provided by the CBH was very helpful and informative and saved us money, even though we travelled a fair distance. I would like to see more of these types of clinics and seminars taking place”

The CBH will be running travel clinics across the UK for the Hajj season commencing in September, with the next clinic for Yorkshire being delivered on Friday 9th September 2011 and London on 10th September with other locations booked also. To book your jab or for more details on clinics in your area call 0845 833 4145 or visit www.cbhuk.org .

Notes to Editors:
The Council of British Hajjis (the CBH) is a voluntary organisation working at grass‐roots for the welfare of British Pilgrims. The CBH runs pre‐Hajj & Umrah health and safety advice seminars and ran the country’s first Hajj & Umrah specific travel vaccination clinics and is the first and only UK Hajj and Umrah specific organisation which has partnered with the FCO’s Know Before You go Campaign http://www.fco.gov.uk/travel to bring about key travel tips and advice for all travellers. CBHUK have also raised a national volunteer doctors & healthcare professionals recruitment campaign to support the clinics planned across the UK.
For all media enquiries or for further info contact CBHUK on tel: 0845 833 4145, email: info@the‐cbh.org.uk and visitwww.cbhuk.org .

ACWY vaccinations is in line with the Saudi authorities requirements that all pilgrims or persons from abroad wishing to enter Hajj sites must provide proof of vaccination against meningitis administered a minimum of 10 days prior to arrival and a maximum of three years, with authorities in the country of origin also administering adults and children of two years of age and over the ACYW135 vaccination. The cost of ACWY varies across the country with GP’s charging anything from £35 ‐ £80, discouraging many to take the inoculations and putting themselves and others at risk. The cost and health impact is far greater when pilgrims return back to the UK infected and the costs to the NHS in treating them.
Hajj falls around the 5th of November 2011, with many Britons travelling to Saudi Arabia in early October.