The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, has conducted a pre-selection of qualified medical personnel for the 2022 Hajj operations.

A 15-man team inaugurated by the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan last Thursday, carried out their selection process on Tuesday.

The eligible applicants for the 2022 National Medical Team, NMT, were screened and given orientation on Tuesday ahead of the Hajj.

Sheikh Suleiman Momoh, NAHCON’s Commissioner of Planning, Research, Statistics, and Library Studies (PRSLS) was appointed to head the National Medical Team as Chairman while Pharmacist Zainab Ujudud Sheriff is the team’s Coordinator.

During the opening ceremony of the screening exercise on Tuesday, Alhaji Kunle Hassan congratulated the shortlisted candidates and tasked those that will be successful to distinguish themselves in the discharge of their responsibilities.

Sheikh 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 teamwork among all members, reminding them that the Commission shall not compromise on discipline, urging 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 the 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 the completion of basic immunization programs before arrival into the Kingdom. These immunizations Covid-19 vaccination, yellow fever inoculation, and meningococcal meningitis vaccination received not less than 10 days to arrive in the Kingdom: its certificate should indicate the date the immunization was dispensed.

Furthermore, the ministry requests evidence of a poliomyelitis vaccine shot administered not less than four weeks before arrival in Saudi Arabia and not over 12 months ago.

Notwithstanding the polio vaccination evidence, travellers from countries with known cases of wild polio would be administered one dose of bOPV at the entry point (the droplets Nigerians usually receive upon arrival in Saudi Arabia), the guideline states.
In addition to the presentation of a Covid-19 negative test result done 72 hours before arrival into the Kingdom, the medical team is required to provide isolation centres in Nigeria’s local clinics.

Hajj 2022: NAHCON screen national medical team, provide COVID-19, other health guidelines