221 Indonesians Sick, 120 Dead During Hajj
Mecca. As many as 221 Indonesian hajj pilgrims have reported illnesses and have had to be treated at the Indonesian Hajj Clinic (BPHI) in Mina.
Fifteen of those who have been hospitalized are suffering from serious illnesses.
“Most of the patients are old and tired and dehydrated,” physician Septa Ekanita Hakim said in Mina on Saturday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
As of Saturday morning, 120 Indonesians have died during the hajj. Ilyas, head of the health division of the Hajj Pilgrimage Committee (PPIH) in Mecca, said that many of the patients that were being treated at the clinic were sick before departing for Saudi Arabia.
Most of them are suffering from hypertension and diabetes.
“Due to the extreme difference in climate in the holy land, their diseases are getting worse,” Ilyas said, as quoted by okezone.com.
He noted that the percentage of elderly pilgrims in 2012 was higher than in previous years, as they were given priority on the hajj waiting list.
According to the Health Ministry’s website, the most common ailments afflicting Indonesian hajj-goers are: hypertension, senility, non-insulin dependent diabetic mellitus, disorder of lipoprotein metabolism, cardiomegaly, obesity, asthma and atheroclerotic heart disease.
Anticipating more fatalities caused by serious illnesses, some Indonesian medical specialists are able to be contacted by pilgrims via mobile phone for consultation.
An Indonesian health official in Jeddah, Ananto Prasetya, said that phone consultation was the only option as the number of doctors available was limited.