By Maryam Garba Hassan
Intending pilgrims for this year’s hajj from the Federal Capital Territory have been subjected to a medical screening by the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abuja.
A statement from the Public Relations Officer of the Board, Muhammad Lawal Aliyu, said all intending pilgrims in FCT must be screened at the permanent hajj camp, Bassan Jiwa near the Nnmadi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja before embarking on hajj.
The statement said the exercise was in line with the directives by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) to screen intending pilgrims and obtain their medical record before the journey.
It said intending pilgrims from Abaji and Kwali Area councils are scheduled to be screened tomorrow, Saturday 2ndAugust, 2014, while those from Kuje and Abuja Municipal Area councils would be screened on Sunday 3rd August, 2014.
The statement said intending pilgrims from Bwari and Gwagwalada Area Councils would have their screening on Monday, 4thAugust 2014, while those registered at the headquarters are to be screened on Tuesday, 5th August, 2014.
The screening exercises would be carried out at the Permanent Hajj Camp and intending pilgrims are to report to the venue on the stipulated dates from 8 in the morning with evidence of payment of their hajj fare, the statement added.
The statement said intending pilgrims must participate in the exercise, as failure to do so may disqualify defaulters from performing this year’s hajj.
He said the exercise would enable the board to have a comprehensive medical record and health status of the intending pilgrims, especially with the current Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia.
The statement also said pilgrims within the vulnerable age bracket, especially the aged and minors are advised to suspend their trip to the holy land this year because of the outbreak of the disease.
The statement reiterated the board’s law that bans pregnant women from performing the exercise in accordance with Saudi regulations and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria’s policy as regard to pregnant women.