NAHCON sets up medical ‘caravans’ for Hajj

Kogi state pilgrims being screened in preparation for first Hajj 2018 flight at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja. [Photo credit: NAHCON]
Kogi state pilgrims being screened in preparation for first Hajj 2018 flight at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja. [Photo credit: NAHCON]

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said it will deploy what it calls “Medical Caravans” at key worship points during the coming Hajj exercise which starts on Friday.

Saudi Arabian authorities have announced Saturday, August 10, as the day of Arafat.

Pilgrims participating in the annual ritual are expected to move to Mina, outside Mecca, on Friday. From Mina, pilgrims would spend four to five days performing key aspects of the Hajj exercise.

These exercises include standing on the plains of Arafat, passing the night at Muzdalifa fields and the three or four days of stoning the devil ritual at Jamarat.

NAHCON on Sunday morning said it will set up caravans within the tents occupied by Nigerian pilgrims as part of the National Medical Team’s effort to respond to medical needs of the pilgrims.

The commission’s chair of medical team, Ibrahim Kana, in a message to chief executive officers of states pilgrims boards, commissions and agencies, said medical personnel have been distributed to states and zones, who will be part of the contingent of pilgrims during the movement to Mina.

“Thereafter, you are expected to create space for them to establish a make-shift clinic within the tents; both Male and female sections. For the larger states like Kano et al, we have the capacity to have even more, so long as the states would provide the needed space.

“The Armed Forces is fully covered. If the Tour operators organise themselves into adjoining tents, we are ready for them,” Dr Kana said.

He also said the same caravan would move to Arafat with sufficient drugs and medical consumables, including provisions for blood sugar testing for the diabetic patients.

He added that “the same caravan would travel back to Mina via Muzdalifa as prescribed”.

More drugs supplied

Mr Kana also said a request for all the drugs, consumables and equipment required for the Caravan system has already been approved by the Chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed.

Read also: Hajj: Custodian of Saudi holy mosques assures pilgrims of equal opportunities

He said a consignment of the supplies should arrive the medical store between Monday and Tuesday.

“Boxes are ready for each of the state and tents as to be agreed,” he said.

He also reminded the state officials of the advice by NAHCON for states to recruit environmental health officers for this year’s Hajj.

He said the officers are expected to ensure environmental sanitation and hygiene is maintained within and around tents in Mina.

“Similarly, NAHCON’s four new Mercedes Benz built ambulances equipped with Oxygen concentrator and other resuscitative gadgets are ready to be deployed.

“States with new ambulances can be brought into the central ambulance system to serve all pilgrims under a single management system. Toll numbers would be provided in the coming days,” Mr Kana said.

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