MOH News
Al-Duweila' Inaugurates 27th Annual Conference of the Saudi Heart Association
15 February 2016
His Excellency the Vice Minister of Health, Mr. Hamad bin Muhammad Al-Duweila', has announced the good news about the establishment of the National Centre for Heart Disease Control, which is meant to conduct health studies, develop national records for all heart diseases in the Kingdom and provide science-based recommendations for controlling these diseases.
During his speech before the 27th Annual Conference of the Saudi Heart Association, which was inaugurated under his auspices on Saturday in Riyadh, he pointed out that the Saudi Health Council (SHC) will quite support this center in coordination in this regard with all health concerned parties in the Kingdom.
“Health associations of all kinds hold a special place for me, but your association, with this huge membership and its ongoing success in holding its fruitful medical conference each year, makes it always on top. Ladies and Gentlemen, the heart is a vibrant organ of the body, but we always exhaust it by means of the unbalanced lifestyle, malpractices and even by health negligence,” he said.
He went on saying: “When we have launched the slogan of (Health First) in Ministry of Health (MOH), we were also talking about the heart, and how to protect it? And how those malpractices made its diseases the primary cause of death, rather than making the body vibrant? We cannot appease or underestimate issues when we talk about our hearts, but we, as MOH officials, must talk frankly, sound the alarm and issue a warning after another that our hearts are at risk, unless we change”.
Furthermore, Al-Duweila' highlighted the need to recognize the magnitude of this risk, saying: “We must always remember that the number of people who die annually due to cardiovascular diseases is about 17.5 million people, which is equivalent to 31% of all global deaths. According to World Health Organization (WHO) Statistics 2014, 46% of deaths recorded in Saudi Arabia were due to cardiovascular diseases.”
Al-Duweila' also underlined that when a quarter of the community suffers from diabetes, when obesity rates rise to such current pointers and when we observe that hypertension and cholesterol rates reaches up to this point, we must, as this community health protectors, to speak loudly to deliver health awareness messages. Meanwhile, we realize that whatever we do, we will not get to what we aim for on our own, as it is primarily an individual responsibility. Therefore, the Saudi citizen is the one who must make his/her decision; either to choose between a healthy lifestyle in his/her food and physical activity, as well as protection against risks of smoking, poisons and other toxins, or losing his/her heart.
Within the same vein, Al-Duweila' underscored that the MOH does not deny responsibility by such words, but it just would like to confirm that citizen is eventually the decision-maker, and MOH will always support him. “Hence, each individual or head of the household will find the MOH a reliable partner to protect his/her health, beginning with his/her children in schools by obesity and disease-fighting programs. MOH will seek to reach all segments of society, by means of programs which promote all healthy lifestyles and combat smoking and other toxins, the matter which will help protect citizen’s heart before it is too late, or even the need to treatment intervention. In fact, MOH cannot achieve this alone, but it will adopt many partnerships with educational bodies, Youth Care, Municipalities, and other governmental agencies, in addition to other partnerships with civil society institutions and other professional associations like your association, the matter which will be vital to our success,” said Al-Duweila'.
Besides, he explained that MOH's efforts focused on activating the methods of chronic diseases early detection, through providing a strong and impressive primary health care and opportunities and techniques of detecting the disease before it causes symptoms; with a view to ensuring early intervention and damage prevention before occurring. As for those suffering from diseases, on the other hand, the MOH will provide them with the best possible health care according to the highest levels of success in all regions of the Kingdom, by means of the MOH’s program to qualify doctors and consultants, and provide the latest therapeutic and surgical techniques. The establishment of specialized medical facilities will include peripheral areas, such as heart centers in Arar, Jazan and Najran regions, as well as supporting centers in the central areas in each of Makkah, Madinah, the Eastern Region, and other regions.
Regarding qualification and building knowledge and expertise, the Vice Minister of Health lauded the role of the Saudi Heart Association and its conference in promoting these efforts, which offer wonderful opportunities for physicians by their interaction with five thousand of cardiac specialists, participating in the conference. Thus, they share their experiences and learn about the latest technologies offered by more than 200 consultants, speakers and researchers. His Excellency considered that research and study are the cornerstone of success in the battle of heart protection.
He concluded his speech by extending his thanks and appreciation to Prof. Muhammad Al-Faqih, the pioneer of cardiac surgery in Saudi Arabia; for his efforts in advancing the scientific research in cardiac surgery domain through his annual award. Meanwhile, Al-Duweila' congratulates the winners of this award in its fourth session.
It did not escape his notice to extend his thanks to Dr. Zuhair Al-Halees, the Cardio surgeon, who brought pride success on his homeland at all international events, for his contribution in launching Dr. Zuhair Al-Halees’s Scholarship for International Fellowship. This scholarship is meant to provide training opportunities for Saudi cardiologists in various areas of cardiovascular science; the matter which will be reflected in serving patients better.
The inauguration ceremony included the speech of the President of the Saudi Heart Association, Dr. Khalid bin Fayez Al-Habeeb, who extended his thanks and appreciation to the Vice Minister of Health, as well as the conference participants.
Moreover, he touched upon the Association's efforts and achievements since its establishment until today, in addition to the importance of its 27th Annual Conference, in which elite of experts in Cardiovascular Medicine have participated.
Besides, the inauguration ceremony included a presentation of an introductory film about the Cardic Surgeon, Dr. Zuhair Al-Halees, and the Award he launched for talented physicians in the cardiovascular domain.
The Vice Minister of Health has honored the winners from the companies sponsoring the conference, and winners of the Cardio Surgeon, Prof. Muhammad Al-Faqih’s Award. At the end of the ceremony, the President of the Saudi Heart Association handed over the Vice Minister of Health, a memorial shield, for patronizing this conference.
Finally, Al-Duweila' inaugurated the exhibition accompanying the conference, and toured through all participating pavilions, which included the latest technology in cardiac treatment domain.

Last Update : 27 March 2017 01:45 PM
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