The Changing Pattern of Diseases Among Nigerian Pilgrims to Mecca with Special Reference to Hypertension
The pattern of diseases as seen by a physician member of the medical teams accompanying Nigerian Pilgrims to Mecca during the 1971/72, 1976 and 1977 Hajj seasons respectively has been analysed. Malaria was the greatest cause of morbidity during the three seasons and its prevalence progressively increased. Myalgia also progressively increased while respiratory diseases progressively decreased in prevalence. The prevalence of bacterial dysentery and inanition remarkably decreased but that of hypertension and anxiety increased during the period. Most of the hypertensives were symptomless and were diagnosed for the first time during the pilgrimage. This change in pattern may be due to the measures taken by the government to limit the number of pilgrims and ensure that only those who could withstand the exertions of the Hajj riles were permitted to undertake the pilgrimage. It is suggested that doctors serving in future medical learns should endeavour to check the blood pressure of clinic patients routinely in order to detect the hypertensives. This vigilance would further help to reduce the morbidity and mortality among pilgrims attributable to the complications of hypertension.
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