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Sierra Leone Pilgrims Doing Fine in Saudi - Head of Medical Team says

18,Sep 2017
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By M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Riyadh

The health status of the 800 Sierra Leone pilgrims currently in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this year’s pilgrimage is satisfactory, head of the 2017 Sierra Leone Hajj Medical Team to the Kingdom said in a brief interview last night.

Dr. Ayeshatu M. Mustapha who is also the Acting Medical Superintendent at the Ola During Children's Hospital in Freetown said, “All pilgrims are doing fine. No case of epidemic diseases has been reported so far, except some cases of upper respiratory tract infections like cough and influenza reported after the completion of the Hajj last week.”

The Head of the Medical Team was also quick to say that some of these communicable diseases were due to change of the weather and environment.

“But my medical team is doing its level best to improve the overall health condition of our pilgrims,” Dr. Mustapha said in the presence of her team in Mecca.

She paid tribute to the Government of Sierra Leone for providing them with essential drugs for use in Saudi Arabia. “These drugs have helped us a lot,” she maintained, adding, “we are also very grateful to the Saudi Ministry of Health for its support since our arrival.”

Saudi authorities earlier took all precautions to prevent contagious diseases from spreading during the Hajj, where over 2,000,000 Muslims from all over the world converge for the annual pilgrimage.

Millions of people from different parts of the world living in a limited area for a number of days or weeks can easily spread infectious diseases and epidemics, a Spokesman for the Health Ministry told reporters a few days before the Hajj.

Pilgrims were also strongly advised to wear dust masks, cover their nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, wash hands frequently and observe good personal hygiene during the Hajj.

The ministry had deployed all its technological and human resource cadres to provide preventive, curative and ambulance services to the pilgrims.

Earlier, the Saudi Hajj Ministry also emphasized that all pilgrims from abroad should present official certificate proving they have been vaccinated against meningitis and seasonal flu. They also advised foreign pilgrims to be accompanied by their medical doctors.

Other members of the Sierra Leone medical team include, Dr. Musa Osman Gbessay of 34 Military Hospital, Dr. Fodie Juana Kamara of Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH), Sr. Rugiatu Kanu, Acting Program Manager/Senior Public Health Sister, Ministry of Health and Sanitation; Haja Mariama Mansaray, National Coordinator, Maternal and Child Health, Ministry of Health and Sanitation; Sr. Hannah Turay, Sister in –Charge of State House Clinic; Mr. Mohamed A.S Kamara, Deputy Chief Community Health Officer, Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Nurse Mabinty Timbo attached to the Government Hospital, Lumley.

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