MOH News
Dr. Zafr: MOH Is Fully Ready for any Health Emergency to Occur during the Hajj Season
19 October 2012
​   Makkah's Director-General of Health Affairs, Dr. Khaled Zafr, has affirmed that the preparations of the Holy Sites' hospitals, health centers, and medical teams are now over. He pointed out that the preparations have been finished, thank Allah; and that there is an ongoing follow-up for them and interest in the quality of the services provided. Thus, the hospitals and health centers inside the Holy Sites have been operated and prepared with the qualified medical cadres and modern equipment. 

Dr. Zafr has pointed out that the Ministry of Health works through a chain of hospitals, health centers, and medical teams; there are 8 specialized and high- efficiency hospitals in Makkah, in addition to 8 hospitals in the Holy Sites at three-thousand bed capacity, emergency services, and intensive care. And there are more than 100 health centers spread in Makkah and 40 health centers within the Holy Sites providing treatment, taking care of non-critical cases, and transferring the other cases to hospitals. In addition, there is King Abdullah Medical City providing distinctive services for the pilgrims, which have contributed to raising the level of the services provided.  And it includes critical specialties such as cardiovascular diseases, neurological diseases, retina and eye diseases, oncology, and liver diseases. Hence, the City has recruited distinctive consultants who have achieved, May Allah be praised, big successes in treatment and critical surgerical operations, which the pilgrim patients need.

Dr. Zafr said, “The Ministry of Health has finished its preparations for any health emergency, and has successfully implemented several rehearsals with the participation of the medical teams, health centers, and hospitals. Also, the Ministry has finished the preparations and readiness of hospitals in Jeddah and Taif governorates to be in handy. More importantly, the Ministry has provided equipped emergency teams to take care of any case in cooperation with Saudi Red Crescent Authority and the Civil Defense Department, in addition to health surveillance and control teams, and health awareness, education, and guidance teams for the pilgrims.”       

The Director-General of the Health Affairs Directorate in Makkah has acclaimed the distinctive and ongoing coordination between the Ministry of Health and the authorities providing the health services such as the Armed Forces medical services, National Guard medical services, Saudi Red Crescent Authority, and MOI's medical services; in addition to the other service authorities such as the Civil Defense Department and Holy Makkah Municipality.   

As far as the pilgrims' health status is concerned so far, Dr. Zafr has pointed out that the health status is good, May Allah be praised, and no epidemic or infectious diseases have been reported among the pilgrims. This is due to the services and efforts which the state provides, May Allah protect it, through the Ministry of Health and other authorities in terms of detecting the pilgrims and ensuring their safety, treating diseases, and taking care of emergency cases; and epidemiological surveillance, awareness, and education teams. He also noted that the Ministry achieved big successes in the past seasons, May Allah be praised, and it seeks, by Allah's will, to make a new achievement this year with regard to the provided medical services.   

Furthermore, Dr. Khaled Zafr has announced about providing the service of the patient pilgrims' convoys, to the effect that this year, the Ministry of Health is to transfer the injured and detained patients in hospitals on Araft's day to the holy site of Arafat to complete the ritual via equipped buses and ambulances. He has also referred to the support which the MOH's Hajj-efforts receive from the Custodian of the Two Mosques and Makkah's royal highness, lauding the Health Minister's follow-up and interest in constantly stressing that the services in the Holy Sites are of a high level of preparation, readiness, and quality. 

And Dr. Zafr has advised the pilgrims to be interested in the health prevention and keeping away from exposure to the sunlight rays during afternoon, since this could make them vulnerable to heat stress and sun strokes. He also recommended using sun-shielding items and avoiding overcrowded places; to protect themselves from the injuries and respiratory system diseases transmitted through spray-sneezing or sneezing; along with making a point of wearing protective face-masks, drinking water to excess, and carefully choosing foods.

Concluding his statement, Dr. Zafr stated that the Ministry of Health has recruited more than twenty thousand physicians, technicians, and employees to serve the pilgrims, and Allah willing, it will ably work on taking care of the pilgrims and their health.

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