The number of Nigerian pilgrims who died during this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia has risen to 14.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) revealed this on Monday, saying that one of its staff, who died as a result of an illness, was among the victims.
Nigeria’s head of National Medical Medical Team, Ibrahim Kana, at a briefing by NAHCON after a meeting of its management in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, said that seven of the 14 deaths occured before Arafat Day “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”.
Kana 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.