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Preparation for hajj 2018 on course, NAHCON assures

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The Federal Government has allayed fears that the Saudi Arabian authority was threatening to bar Nigerians from performing 2018 hajj exercise.

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Head of Media, Fatima Mohammed Mustapha, who dispelled the report said: “We read with dismay the story and we want to allay the fear of Nigerians especially the intending pilgrims that no such decision has been taken nor there was any plan of such,”

NAHCON therefore assured Nigerians and intending pilgrims of its commitment to the continuous improvement of services to the Nigerian pilgrims.

There had been reports in the public space that Saudi authorities had threatened to block Nigerian pilgrims from attending the 2018 Hajj exercise due to the spread of Lassa fever in the country.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said his ministry is “working with state governments to ensure that all intending pilgrims are properly screened of and sign of fever before they are allowed to travel”.

He stated that government is on the verge of tackling the Lassa fever outbreak.

He also said so far, Nigeria is almost free of the disease and a declaration on that would soon be made.

The health minister said even at its prime, Lassa fever was only prevalent in three states.

“By tomorrow we are in a position to declare Nigeria zero of Lassa fever. The week before, we had five, last week, one,” he said.

The minister said there are disease outbreaks all over the world.
“We go round to keep Nigerians safe. We have suppressed and caged it, it is under control and we are going to declare it over,” he said.

Pointing out the measures taken to curtail the outbreak of the disease, Adewole said his ministry set up a Lassa fever eradication committee under the leadership of Oyewale Tomori a leading expert in the field, to look into the situation and proffer strategies for its curtailment by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said the Ministry of Health is ready any day to tackle any disease outbreak not just Lassa fever.

“We have 300 well-trained disease surveillance officers who go round the country to monitor outbreaks so that it can be dealt with immediately,” he said.

The minister said no nation can be free of diseases, but that “how a nation reacts is what matters.”

“Nigeria has successfully tackled Ebola and almost completely tackled Polio.

The military is helping in vaccinations and in one or two years will be certified polio free.

“We had monkeypox in three South-south states but it was quickly brought under control,” he said.



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