The number of Nigerian pilgrims who died during this year’s Islamic pilgrimage has risen to 14.

Among the dead is a staff of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) who died as a result of an illness.

This was made known by the head of the national medical team, Ibrahim Kana, at a briefing by the commission in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

“Total mortality as at September is 14, while, seven were pre-Arafat with two pilgrims from Kaduna and one each from Yobe, Kogi; Kebbi; Katsina and the FCT; seven were post-Arafat, with two pilgrims from Kano (one international); and one each from Osun, FCT, Zamfara, Katsina and one NAHCON legal adviser,”Kana said.

He said Muna/Arafat outing in this year’s hajj “was welcomed by scorching heat with temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius, thereby causing a lot of hardship on Nigerians and pilgrims in general.

“That resulted in early exhaustion, dehydration and even some developing heat stroke.”

He further said the Nigerian medical team was on hand to offer medical and emergency services to the pilgrims.

“This led to reduction of suffering and prompt evacuation and referral to nearby hospitals in Arafat, Muzdalifa and Muna.

“Several cardiac resuscitation measures were conducted which saved some lives.

“We are also grateful that no outbreak of any disease was recorded in the Nigerian tents, even though the medical team was in hand providing services through the 25 clinics established inside many state tents. Over 6000 consultations were carried out,” he said.