MOH News

General Department of Information Participates in Health Information Seminar at KSU
17 May 2011
The Ministry of Health, represented by the General Department of Information and Health Awareness, presented its experiences in the field of health information and awareness campaigns during a two-day health information seminar held recently at King Saud University. The seminar was organized by the Department of Mass Communication at the College of Arts, and was focused on discussing the functional roles of both traditional and modern media methods in the field of health information.  Among the presenters were researchers and others interested in the field of health information.  According to the university’s Director of Media and Publication, Musaad bin Abdullah Al Jadeed, the seminar was launched by the Rector of King Saud University, Dr. Abdullah Al-Othman. 

During the opening ceremony, the General Supervisor of Information and Health Education for the MOH, Dr. Khalid M. Marglani, delivered a speech on behalf of the participants as an acknowledgment of the active role of the Ministry of Health.  Dr. Marglani conveyed to the audience the greetings and best wishes of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah. He pointed out that health information in the MOH has become an integral part of the health services provided by the Ministry. Information management has become a part of all of the Ministry’s awareness and preventative services.  For example, all of the MOH national disease prevention campaigns succeeded due to the dissemination of vital and up-to-date health information to the public.  Dr. Marglani also gave a lecture entitled “Health Awareness Examples and Experiences,” in which he talked about the MOH’s experiences during the national campaign to raise awareness on combating the spread of H1N1 virus.  He also discussed global scientific methods used in preventing the spread of HIV.
Moreover, Dr. Marglani outlined the precautionary measures undertaken by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza (Swine Flu) through updating national plans and precautions according to World Health Organization. The national awareness campaign against swine flu, known as “Your Commitment Protects You” clarified the objectives, strategies and phases the health education teams carry out when addressing public health issues.  The plan consists of four phases: the phase prior to the presence of the virus, the beginning of the flu pandemic, Hajj and Umrah and the awareness and vaccination phase.

Al Jadeed stated that the lecture offered several recommendations for adopting new principles of planning and implementation, and how to apply the principle of partnership and collaborative work among cooperating sectors when facing urgent public health issues.

The Director of Health Education, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani, presented a lecture entitled “Media Literacy and Health Promotion for the Society,” which included a discussion of media literacy and the importance of facing any negative impacts from the media. The lecture also included a number of applications of this concept in the field of health awareness promotion.  He stressed that is was necessary to integrate the concept of media literacy into the curricula of all national education programs.

The Director of Electronic Media, Prof. Majed Al Nafisa, discussed “The Mechanism of Using Social Media and Internet in Health Information Campaigns” as well as the media’s role in public opinion and daily life. He included the Ministry’s experience with new media outlets, especially the website, e-clinics, Facebook, Twitter and health SMS, e-newsletters and forums.

The Executive Director of the National Center for Alternative and Integrative Medicine, Dr. Abdullah Bin Muhammad Al Badah delivered a presentation on “Alternative Medicine in the Traditional and Modern Media,” in which he mentioned the example of “cupping.” The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of media coverage on cupping, one of the practices used in alternative and integrative medicine, in the traditional and modern media; after the Health Services Council banned on cupping in 2007. The study demonstrated the religious motives for promoting cupping, associating it with the Suna, and also pointed out that many of the people practicing cupping in the Kingdom were non-Saudis in violation of residency system requirements.

The Director of Health Education in Primary Health Care in Jeddah Health Directorate, Dr. Munira Khalid Ahmed Balahmar, presented “Ambassadors of Health Education in the Hajj Program,” and included the pros and cons of the program four years after its implementation.

The Supervisor of the Information and Health Awareness Information Center, Dr. Amal Abo Al Jadayel, also participated in the seminar with a talk entitled “The Role of the Information and Health Awareness Information Center during MOH Awareness Campaigns.”  In her presentation, she discussed the experiences of the Ministry of Health in establishing the Center, and its key role in the success of awareness campaigns.  She has also explained how the Center operates, as well as the role of the Toll-Free number (8002494444) in answering the questions of citizens and residents.

Finally, Dr. Yasser Ghoneim of the Health Education Department presented his research paper entitled “Gulf Campaign Strategies to Raise Awareness about Non-communicable Diseases.” In addition, he talked briefly about the general framework of the campaign, the economic effects of these diseases and the risk factors for these diseases.

Last Update : 21 May 2011 06:12 PM
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