Screening and orientation of 2019 Hajj National Medical Team (NMT) members were concluded over the weekend, 26th May 2019 in Abuja. The NMT composition is shared on a ratio of 60/40% between states and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) respectively, while funding is on the reverse order. NAHCON’s mode of nomination follows a random balloting where whosoever’s registration number is generated through a token is shortlisted. Thereafter, the individual is invited for screening and those who successfully scale through are appointed for the job.

At the orientation ceremony held in Stonehedge Hotel Abuja, leader of the NMT and representative of Federal Ministry of Health in the Commission, Dr. Ibrahim Kana outlined the strategies put in place for the medical personnel to carry out their responsibilities efficiently. He called on them to regard their task as a shared responsibility where each member respects general work ethics of the medical profession. They are to treat all pilgrims equally, unmindful of a person’s class or prestige. They were also warned to treat pilgrims with outmost respect being the prime reason behind their assignment in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Kana presented a paper on Roles, Responsibilities and expectation of Medical Personnel.

The gathering was introduced to a medical disciplinary committee headed by Captain Hamji, who would receive and investigate any complaint against medical personnel and mete out appropriate disciplinary action to the erring staff.

Meanwhile, Secretary of the Medical Committee from NAHCON, Wafiyyah Mustapha, enumerated to the members the total breakdown of their allowances and number of days of their engagement in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the decision to accept the offer and proceed with the engagement or not rests entirely with them. She thereafter counselled them against bickering after accepting the offer in the first instance, as this will amount to breach of their undertaking.

Other papers presented include, Airlift and Luggage Handling by NAHCON’s Engr Goni Sanda, Islamic Tenets of Hajj by Dr. Abdulkadir Bello, and Training On Electronic Medical Record System coordinated by three doctors distributed across three groups categorized accordingly: doctors, nurses and pharmacists groups.

Fatima Sanda Usara,

Head, Public Affairs