The Nigerian Hajj Medical Team on Monday in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, cautioned pilgrims against environmental hazards arising from harsh weather conditions during the Hajj in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
Dr Muhammad Abdulkadir, Head of the Medical Team, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “the most important health advice to pilgrims now is to maintain personal hygiene and observe environmental sanitation”.
“They must eat well and avoid junk food from vendors that are not certified and they must take adequate water as they move around.
“The weather in Madinah is very harsh and the temperatures are high, so pilgrims are at the risk of getting dehydrated. Therefore, they need plenty of water frequently.”
He said the team had taken adequate measures to attend to medical needs of pilgrims in the Holy land, adding that eight members, including nurses and five doctors, were already on ground ahead of arrival of pilgrims in Madinah.
Abdulkadir said the team had mobilised its drugs and equipment from Jeddah and finally established its main clinic in Madinah at NAHCON office.
“We have established two outreach centres near our pilgrims to provide immediate first aid treatment services and those who need other management will be transported in our ambulances to the main clinic.
“There is arrangement where severe cases that need admission will be referred to Saudi medical and reference centres. We are fully ready to take off our operations because our drugs and equipment are intact.”
Abdulkadir added that drug and equipment supply to the team would not be done at once, “it is done according to needs and what we have now is adequate to start our operations”.
The medical doctor explained that there was a standard Procurement Committee responsible for procurement and supply of medical equipment, adding that another set of pharmacists was expected soon to join the operation.
Asked if the team had attended to patients after the arrival of the first batch of pilgrims from Kogi, he said one of them had a minor medical issue on arrival and had been treated.
A NAN correspondent who visited the facilities in Madinah, reported that a team of doctors, pharmacists and nurses was seen sorting out drugs while others were found in both male and female wards.
The facilities have provisions for consultation, treatment of patients, administrative matters and other minor health related issues.
The medical personnel were among the National Advance Team that arrived in Madinah two weeks ago to perfect arrangements for a successful Hajj operation by Nigeria.