MOH News

Ministry of Health Issues Health Precautions in the Event of a Dust Storm
01 May 2011
The Ministry of Health advises all citizens and residents, especially those with pre-existing breathing-related problems such as asthma, to avoid direct exposure to dust storms and to stay indoors as much as possible.  The Ministry also recommends wearing protective medical masks when going outside, since dust particles may irritate the respiratory system and cause nasal allergies.

HE Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rabeeah, has directed all health affairs directorates in areas affected by the dust storm to take all needed precautions for the health and safety of citizens and residents. 

The General Directorate of Information and Health Awareness for the Ministry of Health issued a list of Health Precautions, such as avoiding direct exposure to dust storms and curtailing outdoor activities as much as possible, and following up on weather forecasts through TV, radio or the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PMW) website.  The Directorate also recommends using protective masks or damp cloths when going outside, and changing them often.  Keep windows and doors closed, giving more attention to personal hygiene and building\house cleaning during this time of year.  Bedrooms in particular, including sheets and mattresses, should be cleaned thoroughly to reduce exposure to dust particles.  

People with respiratory conditions, or those who have had recent surgery on the eyes or nose, must stay indoors as much as possible, follow doctors’ directions and use all prescribed medications to avoid the negative impact of dust storms on their health. 

Furthermore, the Ministry recommended visiting the nearest health center or ER when needed. Drivers should also follow the General Directorate of Traffic safety instructions while driving. Visibility deteriorates very quickly during a dust storm. Therefore, drivers and companions must fasten seat belts, close widows and switch on air conditioning to help filter the outside air if needed.

The Ministry issued a statement that all of the Ministry's 24-hour health facilities and hospitals are ready to receive emergency cases in areas affected by the dust storm, especially Middle and Eastern Regions. Such hospitals are taking all necessary precautions to help the increasing number of patients with respiratory diseases, especially those with asthma. 

Last Update : 01 May 2011 02:12 PM
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