THE Sulu Hajj Medical Team 2009 successfully achieved its objective of easing the conditions of Filipino pilgrims.

In a statement released Sunday, the team said they catered to the medical needs of pilgrims not only from the province of Sulu, but from Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Palawan, Zamboanga City, Cotabato, Davao City and Sabah, Malaysia.

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Two pilgrims from Naga and five from General Santos City were also treated by the Sulu Hajj Medical Team 2009.

The team consisted of three physicians and four nurses headed by Sulu Governor Abusakur Tan’s wife, who is a registered nurse herself, Hadja Nurunisah.

Aside from Tan, the team members are Doctors Fahra Omar, Akhramien Hassan, and Aldrin Indanan and nurses Enderina Najar, Abbasia Baih, and Nur Aiza Ibrahim.

The travel expenses and allowances of the Sulu Hajj Medical Team 2009 were sponsored by the governor as well as the medicines bought in Saudi Arabia with some coming from the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) of Sulu.

The Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA) also donated some medicines.

There were more than a thousand patient contacts in Makkah, Mina and Arafat.

This was the first time the Sulu Provincial Government sponsored a Hajj medical mission though Governor Tan sent a substantial amount of medicines for the Hajj in 2008 and previous trips.

Members of the Sulu Hajj Medical Team 2009 said they are profoundly grateful to Governor Tan not only because they were able to perform the Hajj but for the opportunity to be of service to people who are fulfilling their religious obligations.

“We salute the generosity of the First Lady Hadja Nurunisah Tan not only for the medicines but even for some basic needs of the Sulu pilgrims. We also commend the competence and most of all the compassion of the members of the team. We truly enjoyed the Hajj mission, emotionally, professionally and spiritually,” the Sulu Hajj Medical Team 2009 stated.

“Generally, the rites of the Hajj were carried out smoothly though there are still a lot of opportunities for improvement. We hope there would be better coordination among the OMA, the sheiks, and the Philippine Embassy. The local government units--provincial and city--could do a lot to minimize the difficulties and maximize the spiritual high of the visitors of Allah,” the team added. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)