Hajj 2012: Twenty-One (21) Nigerian pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia

A week before the observation of the Hajj rites in Saudi Arabia, the death toll of Nigerian pilgrims at the Holy Land has risen to 21 from 14.

The figure was contained in the weekly public health bulletin of the National Hajj Commission titled "No one". The bulletin which was published yesterday, showed that 13 male pilgrims and 8 females have died.

Katsina State has the highest figure of 4; Sokoto, 3, Kano, Lagos, Zamfara and Ogun recorded 2 deaths each. Oyo, Gombe, Yobe and the Nigerian armed forces recorded 1 death each.

Fifty three patients had been referred to Saudi hospitals with 39 cases recorded in Medina, 4 in Jeddah and 10 in Mecca. 90 per cent of the patients had been discharged.

"So far, no single case of delivery has been reported, however, there are two cases of spontaneous abortion reported from Misfallah Clinic in Mecca by female pilgrims from Sokoto and Adamawa states, all mothers are in satisfactory conditions," it added.

The bulletin shows that 7,496 Nigerian pilgrims have so far visited the six clinics being operated by the medical mission in Jeddah, Medina and Mecca, with common cold and hypertension topping the list of cases reported at the clinics.

It also highlighted the problems faced during the Arafat and Muna operations, blaming the Saudi authority's poor response to distress calls and blocked road networks to evacuate sick pilgrims by security operatives.

"Late evacuation of refuse bins by Balidiya in state and VIP tents in some cases did not help improve our sanitation efforts," it added.