Hajj 2018: NAHCON opens more clinics for Nigerian pilgrims

Hajia Sani, Madina- Saudi Arabia

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As part of measures to promptly respond to any arising medical issues of Nigerian pilgrims, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, has opened, equipped and manned more clinics.

The clinics are located in Madinah and Makkah, the two cities housing the two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Three of the clinics are available within accessible distances from all hotels accommodating Nigerian pilgrims in Madinah.

In the Holy City Makkah, four of such clinics are also operational.

The Commissioner for Medical Services of the National Hajj Commission, Dr Ibrahim Kana confirmed this to Voice of Nigeria in an exclusive chat.

Personnel deployed
Dr Kana said already, “430 doctors, nurses and pharmacists have been recruited as personnel to attend to the basic medical needs of all Nigerian pilgrims in the Holy Land. Of the 430 personnel, 160 have already been deployed to Saudi Arabia,” he stated.

The Commissioner urged all NAHCON Hajj officials in Saudi Arabia to direct pilgrims who complain of any symptom to the nearest clinic to their hotels.

In emergency cases, officials were advised to call NAHCON Medical personnel immediately.

Weather-related ailments
Voice of Nigeria reports that all three clinics in Madinah have attended to pilgrims with minor cases of fatigue, fever and mild flu.

Most of the visitations to the clinic by the pilgrims were not completely unconnected with the change in temperatures.

In Nigeria, the weather at this time ranges between 24 and 38 degrees Celsius in the far North. In contrast, the weather in Madinah and Makkah hovers between 38 and 42 degrees Celsius.

“All NAHCON officials and state Hajj personnel in Madinah continue to stress the need for all pilgrims to stay hydrated by consuming enough water in regular intervals,” co-ordinator of Nahcon Hajj Operations in Madinah, Alhaji Ahmad Maigari said.

Intensive enlightenment
Pilgrims have also been receiving regular enlightenment and sensitisation briefings on the rites of Hajj, the need to eat healthy foods and maintain the best hygiene practices throughout their stay in Saudi Arabia.

At one such briefing on Saturday night, pilgrims were also cautioned to be wary of fraudsters.

The Head of Civic Education of NAHCON, Alhaji Umar Bala, gave the warning in seperate addresses to Kaduna, Kebbi and Kwara pilgrims in Madinah.

“Please be careful in dealing with unauthorised persons who present themselves as money changers; report such people to your officials; you must always get the assistance of officials to convert your currencies or conduct other transactions.” He cautioned.

The pilgrims were informed that others fraudsters may pose as agents for numerous outfits which claim to provide dental caps and fixtures of gold or silver for both men and women.

Pilgrims, especially the elderly, were therefore advised to move in groups in order not to get lost or risk being duped by such criminals.

Alhaji Umar urged the pilgrims to continue to co-operate and work in concert with their officials for a hitch-free Hajj.

Pray for Nigeria
The Head of NAHCON Civic Education stressed the need to offer special prayers for Nigeria and its leadership.

“You owe it a duty to pray for your families, country and its leadership so that our economy can grow and there can be peaceful coexistence,” he said.

On hand during the briefings by Hajj officials from Nigerian states whose pilgrims had already arrived in Madinah, were Ulamas or learned clerics.

They also answered questions, explained in clearer details and refreshed the minds of pilgrims on issues raised regarding the rites and processes of Hajj.

Bilkisu Pai