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Hajj: FG urged to sanction states with advanced pregnant women

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The Nigerian Medical Mission to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 hajj has recommended imposing sanctions on states with many advanced pregnant women pilgrims.

Usman Galadima, chief of operations and head of the mission, made the recommendation in an interview in Makkah on Tuesday.

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) constituted the mission to provide quality healthcare services to Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

“What I will advise is that probably if some punitive measures can be established or be carried out against erring states or states with a certain number of advanced pregnancies, that is obvious to everybody,” said Mr Galadima.

He noted that “probably that will curtail the surge that we are seeing now. So I think it requires commitment on the side of all the stakeholders.”

Mr Galadima said the mission had recorded cases of pregnant women coming for pilgrimage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia despite sustained efforts and awareness to prevent them from visiting the holy land.

He confirmed that a Nigerian pilgrim had delivered a seven-month-old baby through cesarean section in Madina.

The head of the medical mission added that it had recorded cases of miscarriages, which could have been prevented if the affected women registered for antenatal at the mission’s clinic.

He advised women interested in going on pilgrimage to plan well, including avoiding pregnancy.

Mr Galadima recalled that pregnancy tests were conducted on all intending pilgrims across Nigeria during the screening process.

Mr Galadima maintained that combining pregnancy and the rigours of hajj was tough and advised pregnant pilgrims to visit the medical facility for proper treatment.

“We have a total of 534 members of the Nigerian medical team, of which 222 are doctors and almost about 200 nurses as well. We have 93 pharmacists and about 27 community health officers,” the official stated.

He added, “This is the highest number of medical professionals that we had to bring to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and this is because of the large contingent of Nigerian pilgrims, which is about 95,000.”

(NAN)

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