Abuja â€” Executive Secretary of Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, Mr John-Kennedy Opara, said all intending women pilgrims would now undergo compulsorypregnancy test.
Opara who disclosed this in Abuja said the move became necessary to prevent pregnant women from embarking on the pilgrimage.
His words: â€œPregnant women are not allowed to embark on the pilgrimage because of the rigorous nature of the exercise. We have had cases of miscarriages because of the pressure they pass through.
â€œPregnant women should wait till they deliver then they can come for pilgrimage. We are going to carry out a pregnancy test on every woman in the age of child bearing at the point of departure,” he said.
He recounted that the 2008 pilgrimage recorded a case of delivery by a pregnant pilgrim, saying: “The woman in question deceived us during the screening.”
He said the commission had also sent out correspondence to medical practitioners, reminding them of the consequences of issuing fake medical clearance certificates to prospective pilgrims.
â€œWe have decided that any doctor issuing a medical clearance must put his medical licence number so if there is an issue, we forward it to theNigeria Medical and Dental Council for necessary action,” he said.