MOH News
Dr. Merghalani: Examining 9500 Drivers under “Yaqiz” Program, Supervised by MOH
24 October 2012
   Within the framework of the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Health (MOH), to maintain the pilgrims' health and safety, the Ministry, during this year's Hajj season, continues to apply the driver-examination program “Yaqiz” (attentive), in cooperation with the anti-drug officials and General Syndicate of Cars; in charge of transporting the pilgrims, and the Ministry of Hajj; and under the follow-up of the High Commission for Pilgrims Transport Control in Makkah. As such, samples were taken from all the drivers applying for the job program of pilgrim-transporting bus drivers during 1433-Hajj season; through bus drivers-examination program (Yaqiz) implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Health.   

This was pointed out by the MOH Official Spokesman, Dr. Khaled Al- Merghalani, who added that the number of drivers examined at the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Center in Makkah reached 9500 drivers. Results have shown that 14 drivers are positive; and they were excluded shortly after the results came out.

Meanwhile, Dr, Merghalani has referred that the Ministry has implemented the pilgrim-transporting drivers' examination program through (4) centers; of which is Al-Jomum Grouping Center at the Makkah and Madinah highway, where the work is conducted in two stages: the first is from 17/9/2012 to 15/10/2012; whereas the second one launches after the Hajj season and continues from 28/10/2012 to 29/11/2012. As such, a permanent headquarters for the Center has been prepared and provided with a number of specialists and technicians and all the modern technological equipment. In addition, the sample is examined through modern, fast technologies; enabling to finish the examination in only three minutes. And this is in order to guarantee the smoothness of the bus movement. However, in the event that a sample has proven positive to any of the banned substances or stimulants and sedatives, the driver is excluded from the journey and is suspended until it is made sure of the examination results at the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Center in Makkah; and the driver is replaced by any of the back-up drivers.

Furthermore, Dr. Merghalani has added that the second drivers; examination center is located at the transport companies and Al-Shemaisy Guidance Center at the Jeddah and Makkah highway. It is to start from 17/9/2012 to 28/10/2012; samples are randomly taken from the drivers inside the headquarters of pilgrim-transporting companies in Al-Shemaisy, Bahra, and  Al-Tanaieem, and the rest of the sites amounting to (18) sites of transport companies.

As for the third drivers' examination center, it is located Al-Nawariah Guidance Center at the Madinah and Makkah highway, due as of 17/9/2012 to 28/10/2012. As such, a place has been prepared at the Bus-Guiding Health Center in Al-Nawariah, and has been staffed with a number of specialists and technicians to take the samples and conduct the required analyses through modern, fast technologies. In addition, the drivers are examined in the shuttle-bus service; the work in shuttle-bus compounds is start as of 17/10/2012 to 29/10/2012.

Dr. Merghalani added that the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Center in Makkah implements an awareness program on the stimulant harm and its abuse and the health and social effects resulting from them.

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