…By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) confirmed on Saturday that six Nigerian pilgrims have lost their lives during the 2023 Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Alongside the fatalities, the medical team overseeing the Hajj reported several cases of mental health challenges among the pilgrims.
Fatalities and Mental Health Challenges:
During a commission meeting in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Usman Galadima, the head of the NAHCON 2023 Hajj medical team, disclosed that two Nigerian pilgrims from Osun and Kaduna States respectively, as well as one individual from the Plateau State group, had passed away.
Furthermore, the medical team identified 30 pilgrims who were grappling with mental health issues.
However, Galadima expressed optimism, stating that these individuals were receiving treatment and were expected to participate in the Hajj, as they had stabilized under the care of the team’s four psychiatrists.
Miscarriages and Childbirth:
The clinic designated for the 2023 Hajj reported two cases of miscarriage and facilitated one childbirth.
These incidents highlight the various medical challenges that pilgrims may encounter during their journey.
Call for Improved Pre-Hajj Medical Screening:
In light of these unfortunate events, Galadima emphasized the need for enhanced pre-hajj medical screening procedures for prospective pilgrims.
He recommended that individuals who are deemed “not fit to travel” should be discouraged from participating in the Hajj.
By implementing stricter screening measures, the aim is to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
The 2023 Hajj in Saudi Arabia witnessed the loss of six Nigerian pilgrims and the discovery of mental health challenges among a significant number of participants.
The medical team in charge of the Hajj has been providing treatment and support to stabilize those suffering from mental health issues.
Additionally, the clinic recorded cases of miscarriage and facilitated one childbirth.
To prevent such occurrences in the future, Galadima urged for improvements in the pre-hajj medical screening process, advocating for the exclusion of individuals who are not physically or mentally prepared for the journey.
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