The Federal Government has approved the deployment of surveillance officers as part of the medical mission to the 2017 Hajj pilgrimage.
Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole made the disclosure during a meeting with officials of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON.
He explained that the deployment was aimed at detecting and controlling any disease among the participants of the annual religious activity, in the face of global outbreaks.
“We are looking at setting up a surveillance team to monitor diseases of public health concern, especially meningitis, cholera and measles,” he said.
The minister noted that agents trained by the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP) would constitute the surveillance team, which will be embedded with the medical team.
Adewole announced that port health officials would be trained to better manage the demands of the pilgrims and to ensure ethical conduct in the discharge of their activities.
Meanwhile, government will setup dedicated communication channels including Telephone helpline and Social Media support to provide real-time assistance on any medical issue related to the Hajj.
NAHCON Executive Secretary, Abba Yakubu said the agency was currently reforming the medical mission, adding that only local drug manufacturers would be patronized.