5 September 2017

Nigeria: Hajj 2017 - Nigerian Death Rises to 14 As NAHCON Loses Staff

Photo: Premium Times
Nigerian pilgrims in Arafat

The number of Nigerian pilgrims who died during this year's Islamic pilgrimage has risen to 14, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has said.

The commission also said one of its staff, who died as a result of an illness, was among the victims.

This was revealed Monday by Nigeria's head of National Medical Medical Team, Ibrahim Kana, at a briefing by the commission after a meeting of its management in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

"Total mortality at at September 4, is 14, while, seven were pre-Arafat with two pilgrims from Kaduna and one each from Yobe, Kogi; Kebbi; Katsina and the FCT; seven were post-Arafat, with two pilgrims from Kano (one international); and one each from Osun, FCT, Zamfara, Katsina and one NAHCON legal adviser," Mr. Kana said.

The head of the medical team also said among the post-Arafat deaths, two occurred in Mina.

He said Muna/Arafat outing in this year's hajj "was welcomed by scorching heat with temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius, thereby causing a lot of hardship on Nigerians and pilgrims in general.

"That resulted in early exhaustion, dehydration and even some developing heat stroke."

He said the Nigerian medical team was on hand to offer medical and emergency ambulance services to the pilgrims.

"This led to reduction of suffering and prompt evacuation and referral to nearby hospitals in Arafat, Muzdalifa and Muna.

"Several cardiac resuscitation measures were conducted which saved some lives.

"We are also grateful that no outbreak of any disease was recorded in the Nigerian tents, even though the medical team was in hand providing services through the 25 clinics established inside many state tents. Over 6000 consultations were carried out," he said.

Mr. Kana said the total number of consultations for Nigerian pilgrims as at Monday stood at 19,504 with 90 referrals to other hospitals.

IDB Slaughters 15,601 Sacrificial Animals for Nigerian Pilgrims

Meanwhile, the Saudi project for the utilisation of hajj meat, known as Adahi, which is managed by the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, has facilitated the slaughter of 15,601 sacrificial animals for Nigerian pilgrims during this year's hajj.

The ritual was performed on behalf of those Nigerian pilgrims whose collections were made through JAIZ Bank, which was appointed by Nigerian hajj authorities and IDB as the sole collector in the country for the sacrificial animals.

Representatives of JAIZ Bank, along with Nigerian hajj officials, visited the slaughterhouses complex in Mina near Makkah during the Hajj days and were conducted round to witness the slaughter.

This is the third successive hajj season that JAIZ Bank handled collections for the hajj sacrifice, following its appointment as the sole agent in 2015 to collaborate with IDB to perform the ritual on behalf of Nigerian pilgrims.

Interested Nigerian pilgrims paid for their sacrifice animals through the bank, and subsequently the slaughter was handled by IDB at the Mina slaughterhouses.

The Adahi Project was established in 1983 to oversee the slaughter of sacrificial animals for hajj and other Islamic rituals. The project aims at serving pilgrims by providing livestock that meet Shari'ah and health requirements, and also help to make the meat available to beneficiaries around the world.

Since inception, the project has distributed around 20 million animal carcasses among the needy within Saudi Arabia and in 27 other countries.

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