Six Nigerian pilgrims die at ongoing 2023 Hajj
The officials of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has declared that six Nigerian pilgrims taking part in the 2023 Hajj have reportedly died in the course of the exercise.
The head of the NAHCON medical team, Usman Galadima, made this known on Saturday during a meeting of the commission in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Giving details of the casualties, Mr Galadima revealed that Osun and Kaduna states recorded two deaths each, while Plateau State recorded one.
Speaking on how to tackle the mortality rate, Mr Galadima called for the strengthening of the pre-hajj medical screening of intending pilgrims, noting that there is a need to restrict those deemed to be “not fit to travel”.
“What we are asking is that the pre-hajj medical screening should be strengthened. Any particular pilgrim is either fit or not fit to perform hajj. In fact, it is a pre-requisite for the hajj, to be healthy and have the means. We advocate for strong or very effective pre-hajj screening for hajj,” Mr Galadima said.
He explained that the team also discovered 30 patients with mental challenges, who are currently undergoing treatment and expected to perform hajj.
“We have been managing them in our facilities. We have about four psychiatrists in the team. We have been managing them and all of them would likely perform hajj because they are a bit stable now,” he said.
Mr Galadima also said that the hajj clinic recorded two miscarriages and delivered one baby.
“One of the babies was delivered through Caesarian section – it was a seven-month pregnancy,” he said.
Galadima stated that one patient was amputated due to diabetes complications, adding that apart from the one case of amputation, the team is also expressed worries over the rising cases of fractures among elderly pilgrims.
He said eight cases of fractures have been recorded by the medical team.
The chairman of the commission, Zikrullah Hassan, in his opening remarks, said every Nigerian with a valid visa for the 2023 hajj has been airlifted to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“We brought in every available Nigerian that has a visa – we have been able to bring them to the Holy Land. In this town today, we have more than 95,000 Nigerians,” Mr Hassan said.
Over two million pilgrims are expected to participate in the 2023 hajj exercise.