The Health Ministry has made it mandatory for all Hajj pilgrims to be vaccinated against brain fever and meningococcal meningitis to prevent the entry of meningococcal meningitis to Sri Lanka, Director General of Medical Services, Dr. Jayasundara Bandara told the Sunday Observer.
“We have made this vaccine available at all port health offices so that we can prevent the entry of meningococcal meningitis to Sri Lanka. Therefore, we have made it compulsory that all Hajj Pilgrims to receive this Meningococcal vaccination before departure,” he said.
According to Dr. Bandara, the Health Ministry is currently in discussion with the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs to make the vaccination available through the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) in relevant areas.Therefore. people who wish to leave for pilgrimage can obtain this service within the area they reside.
“It is us who will be faced with the public health risk. Therefore, I reiterate the importance of obtaining this vaccination before leaving the country,” he said.
People travelling to African countries including Brazil must be vaccinated for yellow fever.