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Hajj 2023: Six Nigerian Pilgrims Die Of Cardiac Arrest, 15,860 Treated In Saudi Arabia

At least six out of the 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia for this year’s 2023 Hajj exercise have died of cardiac arrest.

The head of the Nigerian Medical team of the Pilgrimage at the holy land, Dr Usman Galadima made this known during a pre-Arafat meeting with stakeholders.

Galadima who spoke in his presentation tagged, “Vital Events as of 24/6/2023,” said the deceased pilgrims included two from Osun State, and one each from Kaduna and Plateau States.

According to him, he could not immediately confirm the states of the other two departed pilgrims.

He further explains that his team had so far treated a total of 15,860 pilgrims for musculoskeletal disorders, common cold, peptic ulcer, hypertension, and malaria.

Over 100 other pilgrims were referred to hospitals in Saudi Arabia, he said.

He added that 30 other Nigerian pilgrims diagnosed as having mental health challenges had been referred to Saudi hospitals and would perform hajj as they “are now in a stable condition.”

Galadima also stated that a diabetic pilgrim had his leg amputated.

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He recommended strengthening the pre-hajj medical screening of intending pilgrims and restricting the traveling of all pilgrims identified as unfit to travel, especially elderly ones and those with chronic ailments.

He also said his team recorded two miscarriages, one delivery, and seven pregnancies among the pilgrims; two from Sokoto State and one each from Adamawa, Kwara, Yobe, Plateau, and Katsina.

Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan, the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), had earlier said that all the 95,000 Nigerian pilgrims had been airlifted for the exercise.

“I want to appreciate the support and guidance of President Bola (Ahmed) Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima for their support in many ways. Our being here today is made possible by their support and guidance on the leadership of NAHCON,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NAHCON, at midnight Sunday, began moving pilgrims to Muna, which is about nine kilometers on the outskirts of Makkah, from where they will proceed to Mount Arafat Tuesday morning.

The coordinator of the NAHCON’s committee for the movement, Aliyu Abubakar Tanko, said this was to ease the transportation of pilgrims and avoid congestion on the roads.

He said the Saudi authorities had put measures in place to ensure “zero or at least a minimal casualty figure when it becomes inevitable during the movement to and the symbolic stoning of the devil, the Jamrah.”

Tanko enjoined the pilgrims to strictly abide by the guidelines of the Saudi Jamarãt master plan.

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