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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Extreme heat: Nigerian pilgrim dies in Saudi Arabia

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A Nigerian pilgrim in Saudi Arabia collapsed and died while on his way to Jamarat to perform the ritual of throwing stones against satan.

Head of Nigeria’s Medical Team for the 2024 Hajj, Dr Abubakar Adamu, confirmed this in an interview with reporters.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had, around 11am to 4pm, stopped pilgrims from proceeding to the Jamarat Bridge for the ritual due to excessive heat. The pilgrims were cautioned against flouting directive that prohibits them from the ritual of throwing stones within the stipulated time.

Adamu said even before the start of the hajj operation, he sensitised members of the medical team on ways to prevent heatstroke that could arise from heat wave. He advised pilgrims to use umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun.

The doctor also implored the pilgrims to always seek shade whenever possible to avoid direct sunlight, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty water throughout the day, even if they do not feel thirsty.

He said: “Pilgrims are also advised to pay close attention to all health advisories and instructions provided by the medical team. To limit sun exposure, pilgrims should avoid going outside during peak heat. They should also refrain from walking in the sun.”

The Assistant Director of Public Affairs, NAHCON, Mrs. Fatima Usara, said the commission had been doing its best to educate pilgrims about the risk factors associated with exposing themselves to sun.

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