The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK (ABH), a national Hajj/Umrah specific organisation, launched a National Hajj and Umrah (Health & Safety) awareness campaign yesterday at the House of Lords. The purpose of this launch was to raise awareness of the health & safety issues amongst the 25,000 prospective British Pilgrims who are joining over 2 million Pilgrims from around the world in Makkah. To support this prestigious event, members of the House of Lords, Government officials, diplomats and community dignitaries were present.
Lord Ahmed of Rotherham (patron of ABH), in his welcoming remarks went on to highlight the importance of this event, saying that “to perform the Hajj in the safest and best possible manner, Pilgrims must be aware of all aspects of performing Hajj; by launching this awareness campaign, we will enhance Hajj related health & safety awareness amongst British Pilgrims.” The admirable facilities provided by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were also praised by Lord Ahmed.
Deputy Leader of House of Lords, Lord Phil Hunt commended the hard work and continuous efforts made over a decade by the Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of Hajj/Umrah Pilgrims. He assured his full support towards this noble and humanitarian cause for helping and protecting the British Hajj Pilgrims from hardship and difficulties.
Dr. Syed Raza Hussain from ABH strongly urged the prospective Pilgrims to safeguard against infectious diseases such as Meningitis which is a killer disease. Therefore, all the prospective Pilgrims must ensure to get the Meningitis vaccination before they leave for Hajj.
Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed from MDDA also stressed that prospective Pilgrims must take every precaution to ensure their Health and Safety during Hajj because they are always at high risk of contracting infectious diseases due to factors such as crowded conditions at ceremonies, accommodation sites, and public transport.
The officials from Police, Trading Standards Department, and ABTA also spoke and ensured that the Government authorities will make every effort to help and protect British Hajj Pilgrims from exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous and rogue tour and travel operators. At this event, Birmingham City Council’s Trading Standards Department was awarded for their hard work and achievements to ensure the strict implementation of UK laws.
General Secretary of ABH, Khalid Pervez said that “the tragic accidents that took place during Hajj pilgrimage in recent years and the outbreak of infectious diseases where a substantial number of British pilgrims lost their lives caused a great amount of grief and distress to the British Muslim community.” With the help and support of Members of House of Lords, Members of Parliament and relevant Government authorities, we will make every effort to ensure that prospective Hajj/Umrah Pilgrims perform their religious obligation in a safe and the best possible manner.
He also acknowledged the messages of support received from Imam-e-Kaabah, Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Al-Sudais , HRH Prince Charles, and Government Ministers towards efforts made by ABH regarding the welfare and wellbeing of Hajj/Umrah Pilgrims.