The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has introduced a Caravan System of health delivery to the pilgrims this year.
The new initiative will operate in Mashaa’ir (religious sites) areas of Muna, Arafat and Muzdalifah.
The commissioner in charge of health matters, Dr Ibrahim Kana, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Mecca.
He, therefore, solicited the cooperation of the state hajj authorities for the success of the initiative, adding that it was another plus in the commission’s health delivery to Nigerian pilgrims.
According to Kana, the caravan health delivery system entrails distribution of medical personnel to states or to the zones of South-East and South-South.
He said this was to ensure that medical personnel accompany pilgrims of the states and or the two zones in the bus during their movement from Mecca to the Mashaa’ir areas.
“It could be recalled that this year, the National Medical Team introduced first aid rooms in all the hotels accommodating Nigerian pilgrims in Madinah to attend to minor illnesses of the pilgrims.
“The recent additional innovation is the introduction of a Caravan System of health delivery to the pilgrims, this year, in the Mashaa’ir (religious sites) areas of Muna, Arafat and Muzdalifah,” Kana said.
The commissioner urged heads of State Pilgrims Welfare Boards and relevant agencies to provide space for makeshift clinics for male and female pilgrims in their tents.
He said that in states with a large number of pilgrims, such as Kaduna, Kano and Lagos, additional personnel would be provided if they make adequate provision for their deployment at their tents.
Kana further disclosed that the Chairman of the Commission, Abdullahi Muhammad, had granted the request for the supply of all necessary drugs, medical consumables and equipment.
The commissioner assured that the supply would be delivered to the Medical Store for distribution to states that key into the new initiative.
He urged states to provide Environmental Health Workers to ensure cleanliness and maintain sanitation as well as hygiene, inside and outside the tents in Muna.
Kana said the Commission had also taken delivery of four new Mercedes Benz Ambulances, equipped with oxygen and other resuscitation gadgets for use during the pilgrims’ stay at the religious sites.
The commissioner advised states with ambulances to key them into the central ambulance system, to serve all pilgrims under a single management structure.
Kana, who said in the next couple of days, Toll numbers would be provided, advised that a mutual channel of communication be opened between all stakeholders on Hajj.
He said this would ease stress and ensure a hitch-free exercise.
Meanwhile, the number of Nigerian pilgrims to this year pilgrimage in the holy land hit 40,993 in 84 flights on Sunday, the Command Control Centre of the commission said.
The centre said Max Air flight NJ7164 had departed Minna for Madinah with 545 Niger pilgrims comprising 317 males, 228 females and nine officials.