Hajj: NAHCON tasks states to emulate Kaduna Pilgrims healthcare delivery

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By; MOHAMMAD IBRAHIM, Kaduna.
Head of National Medical Team, Dr Bello AbdulKadir has advised other states to emulate Kaduna State by cooperating with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in order to enhance health care delivery for Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.
Dr Abdulkadir who gave the advice when his team paid a courtesy call on the Chairman of the General Coordinating Committee of Kaduna Hajj 2016, Alhaji Balarabe Lawal Abbas, disclosed that no state gave the medical team the logistics and personnel support in current Hajj exercise like Kaduna State.
A statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Yunusa Muhammad Abdullahi quoted Dr Abdulkadir as saying that Kaduna State offered NAHCON accommodation for its clinic and also donated two ambulances to the National Medical Team.
The statement further quoted Abdulkadir as saying that Kaduna State also donated drugs and other medications as well as medical personnel to NAHCON’s Medical Team.
Dr Abdulkadir said that his team had earlier written an appreciation letter to Kaduna State Government, adding that the courtesy call was to further thank the state Hajj officials for their kind gesture.
According to the Head of the National Medical Team, Kaduna State approximated the standard medical personnel/pilgrim ratio of four medical personnel per one thousand pilgrims, which include a medical doctor, one pharmacist and two nurses. Abdulkadir pointed out that Kaduna State which has about 5,000 pilgrims, should ideally have 20 medical personnel but it had 16, adding that the figure surpassed most of the states. He further said that the state has adequately remunerated its medical staff.
Responding, the General Coordinating Committee Chairman, Alhaji BalarabeAbbas Lawal said that Governor Nasir El Rufai welcomed the idea of aNational Medical Team when the NAHCON Chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Muktar Muhammad paid him a courtesy call earlier in the year.
Abbas who is also the Secretary to Kaduna State Government, said that el-Rufai then directed the pilgrims board to not only comply with the directive but should also give NAHCON all the cooperation that it required to make the National Medical Team succeed.
The SSG argued that putting all the medical staff under one roof will enable pilgrims to have the best crop of personnel to attend to sick pilgrims. Alhaji Balarabe who said that there was initial skepticism whether the concept will succeed or not, noted that the fears have now been allayed.
According to General Coordinating Committee Chairman, the idea of a National Medical Team will cement national unity because medical personnel may serve outside their states. He promised that Kaduna State will do more to enhance health care delivery during next Hajj.
The SSG also revealed that preparations for next year’s Hajj will commence a month after all pilgrims have returned from Saudi Arabia. He advised intending pilgrims from Kaduna State to start saving for the next Hajj, adding that they will be guaranteed seats when they save up to a certain percentage.
In his contribution, the Director General of Interfaith Matters, Engr Namadi Musa advised the National Medical Team to include other specialists in the team and not just General Practioners because of various health challenges that pilgrims may encounter.
Responding, Dr Abdulkadir said that the National Medical Team is concerned mainly with Primary Health Care. He however said that a Psychiatric nurse is always included in the team.

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