Medical Advice

These are general recommendations by a few health professionals who have gone on the walk and have compiled some pieces of advice. Please check with your doctor to ensure you are healthy enough to make this trip and for any tips and recommendations especially if you have a health condition.

Medical Disclaimer

We have made every effort to ensure that all information we provide has been tested for accuracy, however, we make no guarantees regarding the results that you will see from using this information. We disclaim liability for incidental or consequential damages and assume no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of use of the information provided to you from us. The information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied and for informational purposes only. This website’s content is not medical advice nor is it intended to replace medical advice. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury. Before implementing any information we provide to you, you should seek advice from a licensed medical professional.

General Sanitary Recommendations

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Different places have different bacteria

The sanitary level of Iraq is at times different from what you may be used to and, since your immune system may not be used to the specific bacteria or viruses in Iraq, you will likely be more susceptible to getting sick.

Be sure to either wash or sanitize your hands before eating

It is both islamically and scientifically recommended (mustahab) to wash your hands before eating. For this purpose, be sure to pack a small container of liquid soap as it might not be available everywhere. Soap is better than hand sanitizer, but hand sanitizer is helpful for when you don’t want to stop to wash your hands.

When it comes to food, choose wisely

Try to avoid food that seems undercooked or served in a manner that does not seem sanitary.


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Stay hydrated

The journey is long, physically taxing, and (depending on the time) can be very warm.

Will there be water?

Bottled water is plentiful in Iraq, we do not recommend drinking from open sources or using reusable cups (e.g. glass tea cups).

Water on its own may not be enough

Take electrolytes to add to your drinking water, electrolytes hydrates faster than water.


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Raise your legs

Make sure to raise your legs on a surface above your heart level for even a few minutes a day. This will help to decrease swelling and help blood and fluids return to your heart more easily.

Ibuprofen can help

To decrease the inflammation and muscle pain, you can take 400mg of Ibuprofen on a full stomach at night.

Shower if possible

If possible, take a shower at night at the end of each day’s walk. Your muscles have been at work all day during the walk and by having warm water poured on them, it will help with the inflammation and to have them release the tension and tiredness. You will wake up more refreshed and energetic.

Your Feet and Possible Blisters

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Your socks are important

Blisters are caused by friction. To help prevent blisters, wear appropriate socks for exercising. Some have recommended using nylon socks that adhere to your skin underneath cotton/wool socks.

How to pop your blisters (Gross, but necessary)

There are medical mawakeb (tents) along the way with staff who can pop blisters. However, people have seen the needles being reused with multiple patients so it is not sanitary. Consider bringing alcohol wipes, sterilized needles or blades, and gloves in order to pop your own blisters.


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Take some tylenol with you for general headaches or cold and flu like symptoms.

Cough Drops

Make use of cough drops and over the counter medications for throat pain.


Any over the counter medication for cold or flu like symptoms would be suitable to consume, for example theraflu.

See a doctor...

If your symptoms get worse, make sure to stop at a mowkeb (tent) with a doctor to have somebody listen to your lungs and do a physical exam. In some cases, you will need antibiotics.

Diarrhea/Stomach Flu

Many people report getting some kind of stomach virus/flu or diarrhea during this trip.

Wash. Your. Hands.

We can not stress enough the importance of washing your hands before eating anything.

If you get the stomach flu

If you get a stomach flu, make sure to stay hydrated (See earlier note regarding electrolytes).

See a doctor...

For non-resolving diarrhea or dehydration, seek out a doctor to obtain IV fluids, diarrhea medication, or antibiotics. This is especially important if your fever spikes in temperature.

Dental Recommendations

Many people report getting some kind of stomach virus/flu or diarrhea during this trip.

Oral hygiene on the trip

We do not recommend brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth using open sources of water (e.g. the faucet), instead use bottled water. As with eating, you should wash your hands with soap before flossing to prevent harmful bacteria from entering your mouth from your hands.

Check with your dentist before your trip

A few weeks before traveling, visit your dentist to check for any issues that might flare up and turn into an urgent care situation while traveling. Let your dentist know that you are traveling and ask if there is anything that might cause you a problem while you are away. If you do not typically go to the dentist for regular exams or you suspect that you may need care, allow yourself a few months before traveling to schedule and receive necessary care.

If you don’t have dental insurance

Many dental clinics are willing to set up payment plans and some even offer free services for low-income patients. Check with your local clinics for more information.

If there is a dental emergency

There are dental mawakeb (tents) along the way for pilgrims. However, people have reported that instruments are not always sterilized in between patients and needles are not always changed out between patients.

Request a Feature or Open a Ticket

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