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JUST IN: Nigeria Pilgrim Dies In Saudi Arabia

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AN elderly female Nigerian pilgrim from Sokoto State has died in Madinah, Saudi Arabia few days to the commencement of 2019 Hajj rites, says the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON.

NAHCON’s Head of Medical Team in Madinah, Dr Hamidu Liman, who fielded questions from journalists, said the elderly woman whose funeral was conducted last Friday spent four days in the intensive care unit at Al-Ansar Hospital before she died.

Dr Liman said the deceased had severe medical issues right from home but got worse when she arrived Saudi Arabia.

“She was appropriately received at NAHCON’s clinic. As soon as we reviewed her case, we realised that it is something that requires a specialist’s attention. We referred her to Al-Ansar Hospital.”

“She was in their Intensive Care Unit for four days before we unfortunately lost her. The appropriate authorities have been informed. Alihamdulillah, the janaza (funeral rite) was conducted last Friday in Madinah. And she has been buried accordingly. May Allah bless her soul and grant her Aljanatu firdaus. Aameen,” he also said.

The medical practitioner, who said the four clinics established in Madinah for convenience of the pilgrims had treated over 5000 patients, stated that the most reported cases were fatigue, body pain, and headache.

He said some of the patients came occasionally with previous medical problems like hypertension, diabetes, and asthma from Nigeria.

Dr Liman said cases of frank psychiatric illnesses and pathological fracture that could not be handled by the clinics were appropriately referred to Al – Ansar Hospital in Madinah for prompt medical attention.

He added that two persons who had fractures due to accidental fall from slippery floor and another elderly woman from minor domestic accident (pathological fracture) had been treated and discharged.

“These cases are developed here. They fall from slippery floor because our people are not used to tiles. The good thing is that all these cases were appropriately referred to Al-Ansar Hospital.

“They had open reduction and internal fixation. Two have been discharged and they have moved to Makkah. One is going to be discharged today. Then, we take her back to pilgrims’ residence for movement to Makkah,” he said.

He said the four clinics in Madinah had doctors, nurses, pharmacists, appropriate drugs, and five ambulances to cater for the welfare of the pilgrims.

Dr Liman added that States had separate arrangements for the pilgrims’ welfare, noting that most of the States reserve their ambulances for Makkah operations.

He advised intending pilgrims to do exercise regularly right from home and assess the status of their health before embarking on pilgrimage, which he said is a rigorous exercise that requires a lot of movement and trekking.

The latest death brought to two the number of Nigerian pilgrims who had died in Saudi Arabia. A female Katsina pilgrim had earlier died in her sleep in Makkah last week from myocardial infarction which is secondary to hypertensive heart disease.

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