Document Type: Brief Report
Zanjan Blood Transfusion Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, IR Iran
Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, IR Iran
Introduction: Every year a large number of Muslims, especially from Iran, travel to holy places in Iraq for pilgrimage. Like Hajj and other mass gatherings, the health of pilgrims in Iraq is a major issue. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of diseases in pilgrims referring to Iranian clinics in Iraq.
Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in April and May, 2013. All Iranian pilgrims referring to clinics in Najaf, Karbala, Baghdad, or Kazmain during this one-month period were entered in the study. Data was gathered from medical records in these clinics and analyzed using SPSS software version 16.
Results: From 22 April to 20 May, 2013, a total of 26,574 patients were admitted to Iranian clinics in Iraq, 42% of whom were women and 58% were men. The main causes for referring to the clinics were signs and symptoms of acute respiratory infection (48%), musculoskeletal problems (19%), control of underlying disease (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, gastritis) (16%), and gastroenteritis (7%). The prevalence of underlying conditions was higher in women.
Conclusion: According to the survey results and specific conditions in terms of climate and the infrastructure of facilities in Iraq, it seems that infectious and communicable diseases can be prevented by providing appropriate training prior to the pilgrimage and emphasizing and monitoring the use of personal protective equipment. Moreover, vaccination, medical examination before deployment, and establishing medical records can be better ways to treat underlying diseases, control health, and ensure the better health of pilgrims.