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Heatstroke: NAHCON urges pilgrims to drink enough water, avoid sun

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Speaking at an interactive session with journalists covering the Hajj in Makkah, the Head, National Medical Team for the 2024 Hajj, Dr. Abubakar Adamu Ismail, who represented the NAHCON chairman, Malam Jalal Arabi, warned that heatstroke is expected to peak as high as 50 degree Celsius in the coming days.

According to him, there was a forecast predicting a very high heat reaching as high as 50 degree Celsius during this year’s Hajj season.

He said: “About a week after we arrived here in Makkah as advance team, it was all over the media that there is a forecast of a very high, as high as 50 degree Celsius in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“That automatically put us in position of high alert because of that we had to immediately sensitise the state medical team leader. I sent a message to them to that effect.”

Ismail said the management of NAHCON was taking every necessary step to keep Nigerian pilgrims save, saying prevention is better than cure.

Asked if there was any report of heatstroke incident among Nigerian pilgrims so far, he said none had been reported, but added that there were various levels of heatstroke.

“At the moment, we have not heard of any incident of heatstroke. There are various level of heatstroke, maybe the minor aspect of heatstroke.

“Heat and exhaustion might have manifested and the natural tendency is for someone to go where is cool and fan and take lots of water,” he said.

The team leader explained that heatstroke manifested in the elderly ones in form of lost of consciousness, delirious without them knowing that they were suffering from heatstroke.

“What is very clear is how to prevent it: Avoid harsh sun as much as possible either by way of avoiding it completely. If it is necessary to go out, take necessary measure either by going out with umbrella ot taking a stand under a shade.

“Don’t leave your house without a bottle of water; it is extremely very important. As soon as it is finished, refill it. Don’t wait till you are thirsty,” he further stressed.

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