MOH News
Dr. Merghalani: Approval of Establishing the Headquarter of the Diseases Control and Prevention Saudi Center Issued
05 May 2013
The MOH Official Spokesman, Dr. Khaled bin Mohamed Merghalani pointed out that the headquarter of the Diseases Control and Prevention Saudi Center which obtained the approval of the Council of Ministers to be established, will be located at the building of the National Health Laboratory in Riyadh City to make use of the laboratory as well as its capabilities and facilities.

Dr. Merghalani said, “The Center will be directly pertinent to the Minister of Health. On our part, we will provide all necessary financial capabilities and job opportunities, including a separate budget, in a manner similar to the practices followed by the Diseases Control and Prevention Centers in the advanced countries,” pointing out that, the Center will comprise a scientific committee, that is to be formed by competent staff in the field of the Center's tasks and responsibilities.

“The committee is to be formed by,” added Dr. Merghalani, “Medical Services General Department at the Ministry of Defense, Medical Services General Department at the Ministry of Interior, National Guard Health Affairs, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Health, the Council of Health Services, and a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Higher Education (the representative should be affiliating to one of the governmental universities), the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, and a representative from King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre General Organization, and the Private Sector (to be nominated by the Council of Commerce Chambers).”

Dr. Merghalani mentioned that the organizational attachment of the National Center for Disease Vector Control at Jazan Region will be pertinent to the Diseases Control and Prevention National Center instead of MOH Public Health Agency, pointing out that, the tasks of the Committee will focus on reviewing project plans, strategies, and public policies proposed by the Center in the field of prevention and control of infectious and non-infectious diseases and putting them in specific operational programs to be submitted to the Minister of Health for approving them in accordance with the Statutory procedures. 

In the same vein, the Committee is also expected to provide recommendations and scientific advice to the Minister of Health and Director of the Centre in the field of prevention and control of infectious and non-infectious diseases. In addition, the Committee will follow up the implementation of plans, programs, and policies of the Center, verify the compatibility of its efforts and activities with the practical policies and plans assigned to the center and submit recommendations in this regard to the Minister of Health.
 
“The Committee will have the right to,” added Dr. Merghalani, “review and evaluate the programs and activities related to the prevention and control of infectious and non-infectious diseases, particularly, with regard to vaccinations and serums, provide recommendations in this respect, review and evaluate the results of the scientific researches, studies and experiments conducted by the Center, determine how to make use of them, as well as evaluating safety and health procedures related to the prevention and control of infectious and non-infectious  diseases and submit its recommendations in the matter.”

Then, Dr. Merghalani mentioned that the other tasks assigned to the Committee are to coordinate between the Centre and other relevant agencies with respect to the responsibilities and tasks of the Center, propose ethical and professional standards and rules in the areas of the Centre's work, submit such rules and standards to the Minister of Health for approval, and follow up the application of them.

Also, the Committee will have the right to have a look at the annual report of the Center, submit its recommendations to the Minister of Health, and review any other task assigned by the Minister of Health that lies within the Center's tasks and responsibilities. On the other hand, the Minister of Health will have the right to issue decisions, in a manner that regulates the work of the Committee, the holding of its meetings, adoption of decisions and recommendations, and the rights and duties of its members in the light of the general rules adopted.

Dr. Merghalani pointed out that the Diseases Control and Prevention Saudi Center aims to put an end to infectious and non-infectious diseases, and endeavors to monitor, follow up and prevent the spread of such diseases. Besides, the Center aims to improve the conditions of the health sector through carrying out researches and studies in the field of prevention and control of infectious non-infectious diseases. 

“The Center will also be assigned to conduct researches, studies and applicable scientific experiments in the field of improving the health sector, and preventing and controlling infectious and non-infectious diseases, monitor and follow up the spread of infectious and non-infectious diseases on the national and international level, create a database of such diseases, exchange the relevant information with the other competent authorities, and document, save and publish information on public health, in coordination and cooperation with the other competent authorities and centers,” said Dr. Merghalani.

In the same context, the Center will have jurisdiction to coordinate with the authorities experienced in preparing general plans, laws, regulations, programs and activities in the field of improving the health sector, and preventing, controlling, reviewing and evaluating infectious and non-infectious diseases.

“The Center is to,” added Dr. Merghalani, “support and facilitate the implementation of national policies and strategies, in a manner that promotes the health sector and controls infectious and non-infectious diseases, and coordinate between the authorities concerned with implementation of such policies and strategies.”

Also, the Center will prepare the necessary plans and strategies to intervene immediately in cases of a spread of epidemics and occurrence of disasters that may affect the public health, through coordinating with the relevant authorities, contribute to providing scientific cadres and experts in the field of providing, developing and evaluating the effectiveness of medicines and vaccinations against diseases, and propose research priorities at the national level in the field of improving the health sector and preventing and controlling infectious and non-infectious diseases in accordance with the public plans in the health and research field.

Dr. Merghalani pointed out that the Center is also assigned to coordinate between research bodies, provide information on the researches covering this field, propose and review programs of vaccinations and serums and evaluate the effectiveness and side effects of such vaccinations and serums.

“It is worth mentioning that the responsibilities of the Center include also provision of specialized cadres and researchers in all health fields, particularly, in the fields of public health, population health, and epidemiological study, presentation of specialized training programs in the areas of the Center's work, identification of the health problems, and preparation of a national health record in the light of the results of researches and data of the national registries.  The Center will also act as a national reference for discovering and diagnosing infectious and non-infectious diseases, and will propose solutions for the health problems that may appear,” said Dr. Merghalani.

Dr. Merghalani pointed out that the Center will focus on transferring and developing the technology of medicines, vaccines and serums manufacture, especially the anti-virus medicines, in coordination with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, as well as reviewing the procedures of safety and health related to the prevention, control and evaluation of  infectious and non-infectious diseases, making recommendations in this respect, and cooperating with the other competent centers and authorities within or outside the Kingdom in the field of improving the health sector and preventing and controlling infectious and non-infectious diseases.

In conclusion,  Dr. Merghalani was quoted as saying, “The Center will also be responsible for holding conferences, seminars, and workshops, as well as publishing newsletters in the field of improving the health sector and preventing and controlling infectious and non-infectious diseases, supervising the programs of health education and awareness related to improvement of the health sector and prevention and control of infectious and non-infectious diseases, in the participation of the private sector and society sectors to contribute to the increase of health awareness, adopting the programs related the tasks of the Center, developing, evaluating, and following up the indicators of completing such tasks, and issuing and monitoring the implementation of legislations that help improve the health sector and reduce the spread of unhealthy habits.”






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