The number of Nigerian pilgrims who have died in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has risen to nine.
Dr Ibrahim Kana, the Chairman of National Medical Team of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), confirmed this on Monday following the collapse of a female guest of Allah from Lagos state, Alhaja Folashade Lawal from Oshodi Local Government Area.
“Yes, that’s correct. We lost a pilgrim yesterday (Sunday) at the Jamarat. She actually collapsed. She was immediately evacuated from the Jamarat area to a facility called Mina Adisu Hospital. She eventually died. She is a known hypertensive.
“There is a possibility that the fact that she is a known hypertensive, she may have had fully heart disease that actually triggered the collapse and she subsequently died. She is from Lagos,” Dr Kana said in reaction to enquiries from journalists.
He said last week that three pilgrims from Kano, two from Katsina, one each from Sokoto, and Nasarawa as well as one international pilgrim had died in this year’s Hajj.
The commissioner-in-charge of health matters said the newly medical caravan had reduced the rate at which patients were referred to the Saudi hospitals except those who were critically ill.
He said it was now much easier for the pilgrims to walk into tents where the clinics were located to present their complaints.
“For example, one of the patients came with congestive cardiac failure. In that case, we resuscitated the person and referred the patient to Saudi hospital. Otherwise, most of the patients were actually dealt with inside our mobile facilities. So far so good, it’s really working for us but not without its own challenges.
“In each of the Field Offices that we have so far, in the last two days, there is a minimum of 300 patients a day. We are still collating the statistics. By the end of tomorrow, we should be able to put our statistics together to actually show how many patients we have seen, the number of females and the disease pattern, the challenges observed and therefore proffer solution for future Hajj operations insha Allah,” he said on the medical services rendered so far at the key Hajj rites’ sites in Arafaat, Muzdalifah, and currently Mina.
Dr Kana said most of the complaints from the patients included body pain as a result of long distance trek as well as infections induced cough, catarrh, and very few cases of severe chest infections.
“Those are the major complaints. We treat them and they go,” he added.