Thirteen pilgrims from Nigeria have so far died in the course of the 2023 Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said.
Usman Galadima, the leader of the NAHCON medical team, disclosed this in Makkah on Sunday during a post-Arafat meeting.
PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported that six pilgrims died before the commencement of the Misha’ir period.
The Misha’ir is the main hajj exercise. It is the movement from Mina to Arafat and back to Mina. It is within this period that the major Hajj rites are performed.
In his presentation, Mr Galadima said seven pilgrims died before Misha’ir, while another six died during the Misha’ir. This means six pilgrims died within five days— four in Arafat and two in Mina.
Osun and Kaduna states recorded two fatalities each, while Plateau, Kaduna, Borno Yobe, Lagos, and Benue recorded one each. Furthermore, private tour operators recorded three casualties.
To reduce the mortality rates, Mr Galadima recommended that elderly pilgrims and those that are very sick should be discouraged from going to Jamarat, the site of the stoning of the devil.
He noted that pilgrims should be encouraged to use the Jamaraat train services and that there should be thorough pre-Hajj medical screening with the issuance of a certificate of medical fitness.
Mr Galadima also disclosed that the team detected three cases of chickenpox among Nigerian pilgrims during Misha’ir, and they have been referred to Saudi hospitals for treatment.
The team also had five psychiatric cases, seven heat strokes, 12 severe malaria and seven cases of diabetes emergencies.
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