Coordinated Efforts Ensure Safe Hajj 2024 Despite High Temperatures



Saudi Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel announced the successful health management during Hajj 2024, highlighting that no epidemics or widespread diseases were reported. This success was attributed to the coordinated efforts between the health system and Hajj security forces. Over 465,000 specialised treatment services were provided, including 141,000 services to unauthorised pilgrims. Al-Jalajel reassured the public about the overall health of the pilgrims, despite the extreme heat conditions experienced at the holy sites.

The minister emphasised the swift response of health authorities and the support from Hajj security forces in managing heat stress, which was a significant issue this year. Numerous cases of heat stress were treated, though, unfortunately, there were 1,301 mortalities. A significant number of the deceased, comprising mostly unauthorised pilgrims, succumbed to harsh conditions after walking long distances without adequate protection. Many of these individuals were elderly or had chronic illnesses. The health minister extended his condolences to the families of the deceased, acknowledging the diligent efforts in identifying and honouring those who passed away, despite initial challenges with identification.

Proactive health services, including awareness programs and preventive measures, were implemented before the pilgrims arrived. Around 1.3 million preventive services were delivered, covering early detection, vaccinations, and medical care. Comprehensive healthcare services included open-heart surgeries, cardiac catheterisation, dialysis, and emergency care, with over 30,000 ambulance services and 95 air ambulance operations. The healthcare system ensured nearly 6,500 beds and rooms were available, along with advanced measures to combat heat stress, including developing devices for rapid and effective rescue of affected individuals.