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Int J Infect Dis. 2016 Jun;47:53-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2016.02.005. Epub 2016 Feb 10.

Exploring barriers to and facilitators of preventive measures against infectious diseases among Australian Hajj pilgrims: cross-sectional studies before and after Hajj.

Author information

1
National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Cnr Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia; School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Electronic address: amani.alqahtani@health.nsw.gov.au.
2
National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Cnr Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia; School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
3
National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Cnr Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.
4
School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
5
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
6
Health Informatics Department, College of Health Sciences, Saudi Electronic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
7
National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (NCIRS), The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Cnr Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia; Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, School of Biological Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; WHO Collaborating Centre for Mass Gatherings and High Consequence/High Visibility Events, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

For reasons that have yet to be elucidated, the uptake of preventive measures against infectious diseases by Hajj pilgrims is variable. The aim of this study was to identify the preventive advice and interventions received by Australian pilgrims before Hajj, and the barriers to and facilitators of their use during Hajj.

METHODS:

Two cross-sectional surveys of Australians pilgrims aged ≥18 years were undertaken, one before and one after the Hajj 2014.

RESULTS:

Of 356 pilgrims who completed the survey (response rate 94%), 80% had the influenza vaccine, 30% the pneumococcal vaccine, and 30% the pertussis vaccine. Concern about contracting disease at Hajj was the most cited reason for vaccination (73.4%), and not being aware of vaccine availability was the main reason for non-receipt (56%). Those who obtained pre-travel advice were twice as likely to be vaccinated as those who did not seek advice. Of 150 pilgrims surveyed upon return, 94% reported practicing hand hygiene during Hajj, citing ease of use (67%) and belief in its effectiveness (62.4%) as the main reasons for compliance; university education was a significant predictor of hand hygiene adherence. Fifty-three percent used facemasks, with breathing discomfort (76%) and a feeling of suffocation (40%) being the main obstacles to compliance.

CONCLUSION:

This study indicates that there are significant opportunities to improve awareness among Australian Hajj pilgrims about the importance of using preventive health measures.

KEYWORDS:

Facemask; Hajj; Hand hygiene; Mass gathering; Pre-travel health advice

PMID:
26875699
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijid.2016.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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