From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi

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

Dr Sa’id Ahmad, Head of the Medical Team for 2024 Hajj, flagged off the exercise at Dr. Nasir Idris Hajj Camp in Birnin Kebbi. He emphasized that the vaccines are mandatory for all prospective pilgrims.

“I am here in Kebbi to kick-start the vaccination exercise and ensure that all intending pilgrims are fully immunized in line with the Saudi Arabian government’s requirements,” Dr. Ahmad said. “This vaccination is very apt considering the fact that the first inaugural flight will depart Nigeria on the 15th of this month. Therefore, the need to put this in place is very necessary.”

He explained that the exercise aims to eliminate fake yellow cards by digitizing the cards and ensuring adequate immunity for the intending pilgrims. Dr Ahmad also noted that the observed mortality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be linked to respiratory tract infections, hence the importance of administering vaccines like influenza to reduce infection-related deaths during the Hajj pilgrimage.

Related News

The team lead expressed satisfaction with Kebbi’s public health preparedness, commending the state pilgrims board for its efforts and the intending pilgrims for their willingness to receive the vaccines. He also praised the NAHCON Executive Chairman for his leadership and the Kebbi State Governor for his support in ensuring 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,” Dr. Ahmad assured.

Alhaji Faruku Aliyu-Enabo, Executive Chairman of the Kebbi State Pilgrims Welfare Board, expressed appreciation to NAHCON and the National Medical Team for their efforts in ensuring the success of the exercise. He also thanked the State Governor for providing the board with all it required for the inaugural flight from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia.

The Chairman urged all prospective pilgrims from Kebbi to take the vaccine, assuring them that it is not harmful but meant to provide them with immunity. He expressed satisfaction with the level of recognition accorded to Kebbi in all aspects of Hajj operations.