MOH News
Dr. Al-Zahrani: Four Studies on Field Epidemiology to Improve Preventive Performance during Hajj
27 October 2012
   An official source at the Ministry of Health (MOH) has revealed that a research team specialized in field epidemiology has been dedicated to studying the readiness of Arab hajj missions, to detect the disasters usually accompanying agglomerations, and investigate to what extent Arab pilgrims are aware of such disasters. The Ministry, in doing so, is keen to find out the level of readiness, and to raise the awareness of how to address disasters accompanying the congestion of large agglomerations in certain time and place (i.e., stampede, falling, fire, rain and floods, etc.).
 
The head of the Field Epidemiology Program Team during this year's Hajj season, Dr. Abdullah Al-Zahrani, said that the sample targeted by study includes all the officials of missions. This study is basically meant to assess the state's readiness. Another sample of Arab pilgrims (500 pilgrims) is meant to assess their knowledge of how to act in case of the incidence of disasters, and the effect of advance preparation on such knowledge.
 
Dr. Al-Zahrani mentioned that this study is one of four studies conducted by the program during this year's Hajj season, centered on some of the health problems taking place during Hajj. The program, by conducting these studies, aims to provide a database that helps decision-makers take the right action, thus improving the performance and effectiveness of the preventive program during Hajj.
 
“The second study,” Al-Zahrani added, “is centered on the level of Omani pilgrims' compliance with health awareness of the health hazards while performing the Hajj rites. This study targets 500 Omani pilgrims to assess the health awareness during Hajj, and direct pilgrims towards health behaviors and practices.”
 
According to Al-Zahrani, the third study seeks to find out the scientific basis of hand-washing, concerning health workers at the hospitals of Mina, during 1433H-Hajj season. It aims at assessing their knowledge of the scientific basics of hand-washing rules (according to the standards adopted by the WHO and MOH. The study will cover all health workers with direct contact with patients (physicians, nurses and assistants) at the four hospitals based in Mina (1880 health workers).
 
Dr. Al-Zahrani went on to say that the fourth study is based on the direct observation of the scientific basis of hand cleanliness for the health workers at the emergency sections of Mina's fourth hospitals during this year's Hajj season. The study is intended to monitor workers while doing their normal work to verify of the hand cleanliness. It will cover all health workers in direct contact with patients.
 



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