- Photo: Alhaji Hassan, NAHCON’s Chairman/CEO*
Principal officers of the National Medical Team for this year’s Hajj were inaugurated on 12th May 2022. The officers were saddled with the responsibility of pre-selection of qualified medical personnel for the 2022 Hajj operations. Leader of the team is Dr Usman Galadima of the Federal Ministry of Health.
Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, who is the Chairman National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) inaugurated the 15-man team in the NAHCON Hajj House boardroom Thursday. The event was followed today, Tuesday 17th May by screening and orientation of eligible applicants for the 2022 National Medical Team (NMT).
Sheikh Suleiman Momoh, NAHCON’s Commissioner Planning, Research, Statistics, and Library Studies (PRSLS) is to head the National Medical Team as Chairman while Pharmacist Zainab Ujudud Sheriff is the team’s Coordinator.
During today’s opening ceremony of the screening exercise, Alhaji Kunle Hassan congratulated the shortlisted candidates and tasked those that will be successful to distinguish themselves in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Sheikh Suleiman Momoh, in his welcome address assured the prospective NMT members of the Commission’s commitment to the success of the team. He therefore enjoined them to make NAHCON and Nigeria proud as one of the best medical teams in this Hajj season.
Speaking during the occasion, Pharmacist Shariff also congratulated the members for being among the privileged few that would be selected for the Hajj exercise and therefore urged them to deliver quality service to the pilgrims whom they will be engaged to serve. She called for team-work among all members, reminding them that the Commission shall not compromise on discipline. Pharmacist Sheriff also urged them to be governed by their medical professional oath.
Meanwhile, as part of COVID-19 preventive measures and health protocols for the Hajj period, the Saudi Ministry of Health, through its Nigerian embassy in Abuja released health requirements and guidelines for the 2022 Hajj.
In the guidelines, the Health Ministry instructed the compulsory use of facemasks whether indoors or outdoors in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj period. It also mandates foreign pilgrims to pay for Health Insurance that covers cost of COVID-19 treatment while in the Kingdom. Apart from exempting persons over 65 years from performing the Hajj, high risk pilgrims, categorized as those with severe ailments such as active cancer or organ impairment, will also be restricted from participating in the exercise.
Equally, the guideline mandates completion of basic immunization programs before arrival into the Kingdom. These immunizations Covid-19 vaccination, yellow fever inoculation, meningococcal meningitis vaccination received not less than 10 days to arrival in the Kingdom: its certificate should indicate date the immunization was dispensed.
Furthermore, the ministry requests evidence of poliomyelitis vaccine shot administered not less than four weeks to arrival in Saudi Arabia and not over 12 months ago. Notwithstanding the polio vaccination evidence, travelers from countries with known cases of wild polio would be administered with one dose of bOPV at the entry point (the droplets Nigerians usually receive upon arrival in Saudi Arabia), the guideline states.
In addition to presentation of a Covid-19 negative test result done 72 hours before arrival into the Kingdom, the medical team is required to provide isolation centers in Nigeria’s local clinics.
Fatima Sanda Usara is A.D Public Affairs,NAHCON.