Northern Nigerian Breaking News

2023 Hajj: NAHCON decries high number of pregnant women among pilgrims

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) says that about 75 pregnant pilgrims have been referred to hospitals in Makkah and Medina for urgent medical attention.

NAHCON said despite  campaign against pregnant women embarking on Hajj, many had ignored the counsel by “sneaking” into Hajj.

The Head of the Nigerian Medical Team, Usman Galadima, disclosed this on Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists in Makkah.

Galadinma said due to the physical demand of Hajj, pregnant women are urged not to attend. He noted that even the weather condition is not ideal for pregnancy.

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He said 30 women were referred to hospitals in Madina, while another 45 have been referred in Makkah.

“We have had cases of advanced pregnancy. We have seen a case of seven months pregnancy that had to be admitted. We have those who had to be taken to Women’s Hospital in Makkah here for admission and urgent care.

“This is despite our cautionary call against pregnant women coming into the Kingdom (Saudi Arabia). This is because of the physical exhaustion and the tendency to have complications associated with such.

“We advised against pregnant women coming to Hajj. We have had so many cases of pregnant women coming for the Hajj. We have had so many referrals. In Medina, we have referred more than 30. In Makkah, we have referred up to 45,” he said.

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Galadinma also disclosed that the medical team is having major challenges with pilgrims with chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure because many did not come to hajj with their medications.

He said in some instances, officials at the airports in Nigeria confiscated the drugs, thereby denying the patients their medications.

He explained that as long as prescribed medications are packed in their original packs, Saudi authorities won’t confiscate them.

He added that the NAHCON clinics had recorded an increase in pilgrims admitted over lack of access to prescribed drugs.

“We have been managing those with chronic illnesses like diabetics, and hypertension—some of them don’t come with their drugs despite our efforts on enlightenment.

‘’Once they see medication in original packs, they won’t take it away from them. But I understand that these drugs were confiscated at the Nigerian end, this is wrong.

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“A traveller should be able to travel with their drugs once there is a prescription, once they are in their original packs. Many of them have come without their drugs. We have seen many patients with high blood sugar requiring admission.” he said.

Over 96,000 pilgrims from Nigeria are expected to participate in the pilgrimage.


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