As Hajj Declared Over…Sierra Leonean Pilgrims Are In Good Shape
Sierra Leonean pilgrims in the Holy Land of Mecca are all in good shape in their respective Hotels, remarked the three Medical Personnel accompanying this year’s pilgrims.
Dr. Abdulai Jalloh, Senior Medical Office of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA), Haja Captain Folorunso of 34 Miltary Hospital and Mariama Mansaray attached to the National Malaria Control Programme, Ministry of Health and Sanitation told the Information Bureau of the Sierra Leone Embassy few hours after the end of this year’s Hajj on 29th November, 2009 that:
“We have so far not identified any pilgrim having symptoms of Swine Flu. We only have cases of minor cold, cough, joint pains, hypertension and exhaustion.”
Before we came, they continue, we carried massive sensitization of H1N1 on most of the radio stations and travelers’ vaccination was given to all of them, adding, some were examined by their respective Doctors.
Earlier, a close aide to the Saudi Arabian Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine, Abdul Latif Â Â told the Information Bureau of the Sierra Leone Embassy at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah that his boss, Dr. Ziad Al-Memish was quite pleased with Sub-Saharan African countries, including Sierra Leone.
“We have so far not identified pilgrims from Sub-Saharan African countries, including your country, with high body temperatures during the screening operation at both Medina and Jeddah International Airports where most of your people landed and that is another clear indication that they are free from the H1N1 virus,” Latif quoted the Minister.
People at risk of suffering severe consequences from swine flu, including children, pregnant women, men and women above the age of 65 and individuals with chronic diseases, were earlier urged to postpone performing this year’s Hajj.
Health officials are using thermal cameras at all the airports to identify swine flu cases. People were strongly advised to wear dust masks, cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, wash hands frequently and observe good personal hygiene during the Hajj.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia Hajj Ministry emphasized that all Hajj pilgrims from abroad should present official certificate proving they have been vaccinated against swine flu, meningitis and seasonal flu. They also advised foreign pilgrims to be accompanied by their medical doctors.
By Alhaji Jalloh, Information AttachÃ©, Sierra Leone Embassy, Saudi Arabia
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