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June 25, 2024

2023 Hajj: NAHCON records 13 deaths

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria has revealed that six persons have reportedly died in the course of the Hajj rites in Mina and Arafat.

NAHCON’s Head of Medical Mission, Dr. Usman Galadima, made this known during a Stakeholders’ meeting in Makkah, on Sunday.

The deaths of the six pilgrims bring the total number of deaths at the 2023 Hajj exercise to 13.

In its report, the NAHCON medical team said Kaduna and Osun States lost two pilgrims each; Plateau, Borno, Yobe, FCT, Benue, and Lagos states lost one pilgrim respectively, while tour operators lost three pilgrims.

Galadima, in his presentation explained that a total of seven pilgrims died before Misha’ir – movement from Mina to Arafat, and back to Mina – while another six died during the Misha’ir.

“Some of the challenges faced in Mina included increased pressure on the ambulance services, increased congestion in Mina, and poor sanitization,” he said.

Galadima also disclosed that two Nigerians had been put to bed during the 5-days Hajj rites, while 93 emergency cases were being attended to, including three cases of Chickenpox.

The team also reportedly recorded five psychiatric cases, seven heat strokes, 12 severe malaria cases, and seven cases of diabetes emergencies.

Meanwhile, NAHCON’s Head of Aviation, Goni Sanda disclosed that the inaugural return flight to Nigeria had been scheduled for the 4th of July and would run till the 3rd of August, adding that both officials and pilgrims would be treated on a “first come, first to depart system”

He however stated that most officials may spend “nothing more than 45 days in Saudi Arabia to ensure smooth return of Nigerians home.”

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