Precautions for pilgrims from Nigeria when embarking on Hajj
With a total of 14,875 pilgrims from Nigeria already airlifted to Saudi Arabia as at yesterday afternoon when the Flynas flight departed to Madinah with 419 Sokoto pilgrims, the outbound exercise has been smooth since the inaugural flight on May 25, 2023. So far, 36 flights have been recorded.
But pilgrims have also been counselled persistently to embrace some elementary precautions in order to avoid falling sick or flouting the rules of Saudi Arabia.
It will be recalled that about 384 pilgrims were put into custody owing to their violating minor or major offences due to ignorance of Saudi Arabia customs, laws, prohibited and restricted items.
Before leaving for the spiritual obligation, pilgrims must be vaccinated. Go for a medical checkup to know your health status and if you are on medications, ensure you take your drugs along. But prescription from a certified doctor is required before any pilgrim will be allowed to take the drugs into Saudi Arabia. Though the Saudi government has made adequate health facilities for pilgrims.
All pilgrims should endeavour to do a malaria test before travelling and if positive, he or she should take the necessary treatment before travelling because Saudi has a low risk of malaria. The treatment is not common. Pilgrims must endeavour to stay hydrated as the desert heat is brutal. They must endeavour to take water always. They should ensure they take water with them, wherever they go. Taking enough water will help to control body temperature.
Also, Pilgrims should monitor the way their body reacts to stress and strain. If you are tired or weak, don’t force yourself to participate in some rituals when you are not fit, postpone it to when you are fit to carry out the rituals.
Avoid taking anything that is incriminating like tramadol, cocaine, heroin or kola nut. These items are prohibited and not allowed in the holy land.
Pilgrims should be security conscious right before leaving Nigeria, they should make sure that their luggage is packed by themselves to avoid being set up and avoid collecting bags from anybody at the airport. Their bags must be padlocked.
Pilgrims should be careful during shopping to avoid falling victim to fraudsters parading themselves as merchants who know where items are sold cheaply. They should also put on the wrist tag given to them whenever they step up of their hotel. The tag is for proper identification, especially when any pilgrim misses their ways. The tag will help the Saudi patrol team to locate their hotels. Above all, pilgrims should know that they have become the ambassadors of Nigeria in Saudi Arabia, thus, good conduct ahould be their watchword at all times.
Pilgrims should also ensure they top up their airtime with a minimum of N5000 before leaving Nigeria. With this, they will have access to their Nigeria lines when they get to Saudi Arabia. This will help them connect with their loved ones back home with ease.