About 4,000 out of the 7,059 pilgrims of Kano State were diagnosed with heat-related illnesses and treated in the past two weeks by doctors attached to the state’s pilgrims board, according to Dr. Hafsat Isa Hashim, the board’s head of medical team in Makkah.
The health official blamed most of the illnesses on pilgrims’ frequent exposure to excessive heat from the fierce midday sun being experienced in Saudi Arabia, and urged pilgrims to minimize activities at such period. She also cautioned the pilgrims not to always trek to Masjid Alharam, the grand mosque in Makkah as the steep slope on one of the major roads leading to it could trigger health problems.
Meanwhile, the state government has procured mattresses, blankets and pillows for the use of its over 7,000 pilgrims ahead of their 3-day stay at the Mina pilgrims encampment in the city of Makkah.
An official delegation headed by the chairman of the state’s pilgrims board, Malam Abba Adamu Koki, the chairman of the state House of Assembly Committee on Hajj Affairs, Alhaji Saleh Ahmed Marke and the executive secretary of the board, Alhaji Laminu Rabiu, told newsmen during an inspection visit to the campsite on Saturday, that the gesture was meant to make the pilgrims comfortable.
“The essence of this provision is to make pilgrims feel satisfied and comfortable during their stay at the Mina camp. The arrangement is an improvement on the past because everyone will have a mattress, pillow and blanket”, Koki said.
He said the pilgrims will also receive meals from the government and that adequate toilets have been provided for them including special provisions for those suffering from physical disabilities or deformities.
“We are appealing to healthy pilgrims not to deny the physically challenged ones of their own toilets. They should exercise patience and use the normal ones”, he said.