Hajj authorities should work to lower the high fatality rate among pilgrims: Ministry

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Kunta Wibawa Dasa Nugraha, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health, has asked the 98 Hajj officers servicing Indonesian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia to help reduce the comparatively high fatality rate among potential pilgrims.

“Those Hajj officers have a big and honorable obligation to keep Indonesian pilgrims well. I hope they are able to limit the number of Indonesian pilgrims who die in the Holy Land “On Wednesday, Nugraha issued a press statement.

According to data analysis from the Hajj pilgrimage organization over the previous 15 years, the death rate among Indonesian pilgrims was relatively high, ranging from two people per thousand pilgrims each year, or roughly 300 to 400 people out of a quota of 220 thousand people per year, he said.

The cause of the high fatality rate among Indonesian pilgrims has been determined by the Ministry of Health. According to medical data, pilgrims died as a result of two major factors: age and behavior.

“This behavior exhausts pilgrims since their physical condition cannot keep up with the devotion practice, especially the elderly,” Nugraha noted.

To that aim, he reminded Hajj health personnel to provide health services, particularly to high-risk groups like the elderly and those with comorbidities.

Hajj officers, for example, should be able to assist in preventive promotional activities by educating and spreading information on healthy lifestyles and COVID-19 prevention, as well as offering therapeutic and rehabilitative services to Hajj pilgrims.

Nugraha also cautioned all Hajj officers to remain attentive in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak in Saudi Arabia by following health regulations at all times during Hajj operations.

Aside from supporting and serving pilgrims, Nugraha recommended Hajj officers not to overlook their own health.

Indonesia will send 98 health workers from a variety of service sectors. In Jakarta, they are currently undertaking competency training and operational planning for Hajj officials.

Around 100,051 pilgrims will be accompanied by the Hajj officer in the Holy Land. This figure represents half of Indonesia’s Hajj quota prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the Hajj officer was chosen through a recruitment process for the Saudi Arabia Hajj Organizing Committee (PPIH).

The first batch of training will be held on May 10-12, 2022; the second batch on May 12-15, 2022; and the third or final batch on May 22-25, 2022.

Source: Antara

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