The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), Rev. Tor Uja has disclosed that the Commission would acquire a Nigerian Pilgrim Centre in Israel to help in bringing Nigerian Pilgrims together and would also help to project the image of the country in Israel. He made this disclosure in Goshen City Keffi Road during the Medical Orientation for Federal Medical Team for this year’s pilgrimage to Israel, Rome and Greece.
The NCPC boss also informed that the Commission has a fully equipped medical Centre at the Embassy of Nigeria in Tel-Aviv, Israel to cater for the medical needs of Nigerian Pilgrims. He stated that the objective of the medical orientation was to provide training and synergy for those who would be handling pilgrims before the pilgrimage, during and after.
He disclosed that the Federal Medical Committee which supervises the Federal Medical Team are made up of 15 experienced and seasoned Medical personnel whose primary duty is to organize, coordinate and supervise the implementation of the Federal Government health policy on pilgrimage.
The NCPC boss also stated that the Federal Medical Committee would ensure that all the pilgrims who participated in pilgrimage do that in good health and come back alive.
Rev. Uja further explained that the selection process for Medical Team Members was done electronically by the Joint Admission and Matriculation board (JAMB) through examination conducted by the Board and supervised by NCPC. He stressed that from the performance of the medical personnel in the medical examination it became evident that Nigeria is gifted with well trained medical personnel. He posited that the medical personnel in Nigeria are not less inferior to the one outside this country.
Rev. Uja decried the rate at which foreign exchange was being spent on medical Tourism to countries such as india. He posited that if the country could boast of four more new hospitals of the same standards with National Hospital, Abuja a lot of the medical challenges faced in this country would be addressed.
According to the NCPC boss, “the result of the medical examination showed that we have qualified medical personnel in this country”. He added: “Nigeria must be proud of their medical personnel because they have what it takes to deliver”.
He charged the medical Team members to ensure they participate in all activities during pilgrimage such as visit to Holy sites, morning devotion and prayers at different sites with pilgrims.
He reiterated that “they are Christian pilgrimage medical personnel” and not just medical personnel”. Rev. Uja further admonished them to build their honour on what God has privileged them to be. He also hinted that “NCPC is currently reviewing the approved pilgrimage sites to ensure spiritual excellence,” sites that are biblically true and relevant”. He further stated that NCPC is exploiting options of pilgrimage beyond Israel, Rome and Greece.
In his address at the event, Chairman Federal Medical Committee, Dr. Joseph Amedu stated that health is wealth and that no nation could succeed without a strong healthy citizenry. He explained that the Federal Government put in place the Federal Medical Committee to coordinate, organize and supervise the overall medical programme of the entire pilgrimage process.
He affirmed that the essence of the medical orientation was to come together to have a group chart on how to handle the pilgrims medically. He added that the orientation programme would afford them the opportunity to ensure that all Nigerians who travel to Israel go in good health.
Dr. Amedu further stressed that pilgrimage should not be seen as sightseeing or Tourism, but a serious spiritual exercise.
The orientation of Federal Medical Committee and Federal Medical Team for 2016 Christian pilgrimage lasted for three days from 7th – 9th October, 2016. Its focus was: “Health and spiritual Management of Nigerian’s Christian Pilgrims”.
This was the first of its kind in the history of the Commission where selected medical personnel were accommodated for three days and given serious medical orientation on how to handle and guide the pilgrims.
About 170 medical personnel from across Nigeria participated at the orientation programme which comprised Medical Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses and Medical Laboratory Scientist.