Hajj Commission reveals six Nigerians died during pilgrimage, details challenges faced

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria reports that six Nigerian pilgrims died during Hajj rituals in Mina and Arafat.

Dr. Usman Galadima, the Head of Medical Mission for NAHCON, announced this at a stakeholders meeting on Sunday in Makkah.

The six pilgrim deaths put the total number of fatalities at the 2023 Hajj pilgrimage to 13.

According to the NAHCON medical team’s report, the states of Plateau, Borno, Yobe, FCT, Benue, and Lagos each lost one pilgrim, while the states of Kaduna and Osun each lost two. Three pilgrims were lost due to tour operators.

In his presentation, Galadima explained that a total of seven pilgrims died before Misha’ir – movement from Mina to Arafat, and back to Mina – while another six died during the Misha’ir

He said: “Some of the challenges faced in Mina included increased pressure on the ambulance services, increased congestion in Mina, and poor sanitization”.

Galadima also disclosed that two Nigerians had been put to bed during the 5-days Hajj rites, while 93 emergency cases were being attended to, including three cases of Chickenpox.

Five mental cases, seven heat strokes, 12 cases of severe malaria, and seven cases of diabetes emergency were also apparently documented by the team.

Goni Sanda, the head of aviation for NAHCON, revealed that the first aircraft back to Nigeria will leave on July 4 and continue until August 3 and that both officials and pilgrims would be treated according to a “first come, first to depart system.”

However, he noted that most officials might stay in Saudi Arabia for “nothing more than 45 days to ensure smooth returns of Nigerians home.”

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