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Pregnant pilgrims suffer miscarriages as Nigeria records more death in Saudi


Muslim worshippers perform prayers around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on August 15, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city. AFP PHOTO / Bandar Al-DANDANI

An unspecified number of Nigeria pilgrims who were on this year’s Hajj with months of pregnancy have lost their pregnancies.

The pregnant pilgrims, who might have fraudulently escaped the compulsory pregnancy test meant for all female intending pilgrims from their respective states, were not lucky enough to survive the rigorous routine, coupled with harsh weather in Saudi Arabia.

Confirming the development Friday with journalists in Makkah, Commissioner in-charge of health at National hajj commission Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Kana revealed that some pregnant pilgrims ended up with miscarriage after they subjected themselves to needless a rigour during the Arafat exercise.


Saudi authorities and Nigeria’s National Hajj Commission forbid pregnant women from performing Hajj. Hence the introduction of the mandatory pregnancy test to discourage those that may be tempted to attempt the journey with pregnancy.

Dr Kana regretted that despite the efforts of his medical team rescue the situation, it became apparent that some critical patients needed to be subjected to conditional abortion in order to save the lives of the women.

He said that a number of pregnant pilgrims in critical condition were referred to Saudi’s tertiary facility.

The health commissioner, who obviously remained silent on the number of persons affected and the identity of states that produced the women in question, worried over how the pilgrims managed to scale through the pregnancy test from their state pilgrim’s boards.

“Let me say NAHCON over the years has never had it worse like this year in terms of the number of pregnant women attendance during Hajj,” Dr Kana said.

“The upsurge recorded this year is the highest so far and we wondered how these pregnant women managed to scale the pregnancy check hurdles in Nigeria to be in the Holy Land.

“How could they be allowed by their state pilgrim handlers in the first place? Much as we tried to rescue the situation, we realized some have actually exposed themselves to unimaginable dangers, which could have ordinarily resulted in death.

But we referred some critical cases to Saudi hospital while some ended up with miscarriage. Dr Kana regretted.

He said it was unfortunate some pregnancies could not be saved, as the only solution to save the mothers were to abort their pregnancies due to the rigour already undergone.

The Commissioner also confirmed that more pilgrims from Nigeria died during the exercise in Mina. He, however, did not state the number of the people that died.


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