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NAHCON begins vaccination of prospective pilgrims in Kebbi

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has commenced vaccination of 2024 intending pilgrims against polio, meningitis, diphtheria, and yellow fever in Kebbi.

Inaugurating the exercise at Dr Nasir Idris Hajj Camp in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday, Head of the Medical Team, Dr Sa’id Ahmad, said the vaccines were mandatory for all prospective pilgrims.

Ahmad, who equally represented the Federal Ministry of Health and Board of Management of NAHCON at the event, said that the vaccination exercise followed the directive of the Saudi Arabian government.

“This vaccination is very apt considering that the first inaugural flight will depart Nigeria on May 15.

“This is why we are in Kebbi to ensure that the yellow cards were handed over to the pilgrims and the vaccines given to the states were utilised.

“The essence of the exercise is to check against fake yellow cards. The cards would be digitised to ensure that adequate immunity is conferred on every intending pilgrim,” he said.

He argued that the rate of mortality being recorded over the years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be connected to respiratory tract infection.

“Therefore, administering vaccines like influenza will go a long way in reducing the mortality associated with infections during the Hajj circle,” he said.

The team lead expressed satisfaction with the level of preparation, particularly the public health aspect in the state.

He commended the State Pilgrims Welfare Board for a job well done and the intending pilgrims for their willingness to receive the vaccines.

“I must commend the Executive Chairman of NAHCON for being on top of the situation and working round the clock to ensure that everything is in place.

“I must also laud Kebbi governor for demonstrating a strong commitment to ensure the success of the Hajj exercise.

“I am the first person to receive the vaccines here in Kebbi, while the Executive Chairman of the State Pilgrims Board also received his own.

“This is to demonstrate that the vaccines are safe and not harmful to anyone,” he assured.

In his speech, the Executive Chairman, Kebbi Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Faruku Aliyu-Enabo, thanked NAHCON and the National Medical Team for doing everything possible to ensure the success of the exercise.

Aliyu-Enabo thanked the state governor for providing the board with all it required for a hitch-free inaugural flight from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia.

While urging all the prospective pilgrims from Kebbi to take the vaccines, the executive chairman assured that it was not harmful but meant to give them immunity. (NAN)

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