Hajj: Nigerian medics treat 10,000 pilgrims

Muslim pilgrims gather around the victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Hundreds were killed and injured, Saudi authorities said. The crush happened in Mina, a large valley about five kilometers (three miles) from the holy city of Mecca that has been the site of hajj stampedes in years past. (AP Photo)

The Medical Centre of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said that it recorded 19 deaths of Nigerian pilgrims and treated over 10,000 others for various ailments.

The centre had five clinics, two in Madinah and three in Makkah to cater for the medical needs of Nigerian pilgrims to this year’s hajj.

Head of Data unit of the centre Dr Jibrin Suleiman sais this on Tuesday in Makkah while briefing the Leader, Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Hajj, Senator Ali Wakili, who led a delegation to the center.

Suleman said most of the deceased were aged persons between 65 years and above and that most had died of heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes and other related ailments.

He said the center, which was limited to the provision of basic treatment only, had recorded two miscarriages and referred 50 cases to Saudi hospitals within the period.

“More than 10,000 pilgrims had visited the center for cold, malaria, body pains and other simple and non-complicated cases,” he said.

Also briefing the delegation, the Head of Medical Team of the center, Dr. Muhammad Bello Abdulkadir, said the clinics were stocked with necessary drugs.

“We brought some of the drugs from Nigeria, while others were procured in Saudi Arabia,” he said while saying that NAHCON recruited 232 medical staff, including doctors, nurses, and others to man the clinics.

He however complained that the center had no ambulance to move to the pilgrims’ hostels during emergencies as the four ambulances acquired by NAHCON for the center were yet to be released by Saudi Authority.

He therefore urged the National Assembly to intervene.