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11 Nigerians die in 2009 Hajj

11 Nigerian pilgrims have died in Saudi Arabia, the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Thursday.

Disclosing this, the Head of the Nigerian government medical team to the 2009 pilgrimage, Ibrahim Kana said two of the deceased were knocked down by vehicles in Mecca and Medina, while two died of diarrhea and vomiting, one of epilepsy, another of pneumonia and the rest of natural causes.

Kana said northern Nigeria’s Nasarawa, Sokoto, Kebbi and Bauchi states lost two pilgrims each, while Zamfara, Plateau and Niger states lost one each.

According to him, the record was an improvement compared with 2008, when 45 Nigerians died before Arafat.

He called on the pilgrims to improve on their personal hygiene, rest properly and take plenty of water and fruits to avoid exhaustion from the heat.

He said the federal medical team was working with the state medical teams to ensure the good health of pilgrims.

The federal medical team has 60 doctors, 120 nurses, 20 pharmacists and 16 environmental health officers, who offer free medical services to pilgrims in their clinics in Mecca, Medina and Jeddah.

Some 95, 000 Nigerians are performing the pilgrimage.