The New York Times

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said it has opened three clinics to provide adequate healthcare services for Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

The Commission’s Medical Coordinator in Medina, Dr Hamidu Liman, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Medina.

Liman said that based on the regulations of Saudi Authority, the commission was only allow to operate primary healthcare centres in Saudi.

He said that NAHCON had opened three clinics in Medina for pilgrims, adding that all the clinics are well stocked with anti-malaria drugs, Analgesic and Ambulance services.

According to him, the clinics are presently functional while they would be strengthened and made fully operational as the number of pilgrims transported to Saudi Arabia increased.

“The medical team came three days in advance before the arrival of pilgrims to make sure that we clean the premises and set up the clinics to render service to pilgrims.

“Anything beyond what we can handle will be appropriately referred to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabian Hospitals for proper management.

“In terms of facilities or equipment, basically everything that we need to run primary healthcare service is adequately provide by the commission, ” Liman said.

The medical coordinator said that in line with the international best practice, NAHCON had introduced ‘Electronic Medical Record’ in order to have statistics of the types of illnesses pilgrims are coming down with.

He said that in the past all medical records of pilgrims got missing but with the introduction of electronic record it was very easy for the medical team to have database of pilgrims’ health records.

According to Liman, since the commencement of the 2017 hajj operations, the medical team has not recorded any incident of complications from any pilgrim.

He further explained that all the patients treated so far were just normal illness such as malaria, headache and fatigue.

“The Federal Government had ensured that all pilgrims were accommodated around Haram so that they don’t have to cross any major road that can expose them to road accident.”

The medical practitioner, however, urged Nigerian pilgrims to reduce unnecessary exposure to road traffic and Sun to avoid dehydration due to the harsh weather.

The Head, Medical Team, Dr Ibrahim Kana, said that over 35,000 doses of anti malaria drugs were procured and transported to Saudi Arabia by the commission.

“We have over 35, 000 doses of different anti malaria combination and injection, assorted analgesic are bound in both Makkah and Medina.

“NAHCON also creates 24/7 medical services centres in Outpost 1- Markaz ELYAS hotel 1, City Centre, 11th floor, Rooms 1140 and 1141 and Rooms 704 and 705 of Guest Time Hotel, Western centre.

Kana said that NAHCON recruited no fewer than 450 medical personnel to attend to the pilgrims’ medical care, adding that about 70 health personnel are already in Mecca and Medina attending to pilgrims.

NAN correspondent who went round the three clinics in Medina observed that there are adequate health personnel comprises of doctors, nurses and pharmacist attending to pilgrims with different health needs.

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