MOH News
MOH to Establish a National Center for Obesity Treatment
20 August 2013
The Deputy Minister of Health for Curative Services, Dr. Abdulaziz al-Hemeidi, has stated that the patient named "Khaled al-Shaeri" is deemed to be an extraordinary case. He praised the concerted efforts exerted to help Khaled, who is ranked, in terms of his overweight, the first at the domestic, regional and Arab levels, and among a very narrow circle of counterparts across the world.
“Therapeutic procedures have been taken since the issuance of the Royal Decree in which orders were given to transfer the patient and search for convenient treatment for him,” said Dr. al-Hemeidi. “We searched for therapeutic centers oversees, but the obstacle that impeded the medical crew had to do with a proper means of transport, given that the cases who had been formerly transported were not that heavy.”
“Therefore,” al-Hemeidi continued, “the MOH had to address that situation by providing the necessary treatment domestically, instead of sending him abroad. The treatment process will involve the manufacturing of the demanded medical devices, such as a medical crane, special beds for obese persons, as well as wheelchairs. In doing so, we seek to preserve the patient's health and safety.”
For his part, Dr. Mahmoud Abduljabbar al-Yamani, CEO of King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), has revealed that the Ministry is about to establish a national center for obesity treatment at the city, to be specialized in the treatment of severe obesity in the Kingdom, and to be deemed as the main reference of such cases. The center aims to provide best-quality health services, in a way proportionate with the enormity of such diseases.
This announcement was made during the press conference held by KFMC at its headquarter on Tuesday. The conference was attended by the supervisory medical crew comprising representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Civil Defense and KFMC. All such concerted efforts target providing apt treatment for Khaled al-Shaeri, suffering from severe obesity (610 kilograms), pursuant to the directives given by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, May Allah protect him, to transfer the patient to KFMC where he should receive proper treatment, and make every medical effort to make him lose the overweight and restore his normal life.
Dr. al-Yamani went on to explain, “At the direction of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the patient arrived yesterday at the city, after a successful transportation. Having arrived, he was taken to the room assigned to him, after undergoing the necessary medical tests and examinations, as well as preparing him for the therapeutic plan by the medical crew. His status is currently stable, and he is under direct, instant observation.”
According to Dr. al-Yamani, a phased plan has been set for al-Shaeri's treatment, including, firstly, providing full-fledged curative services at his residence, as though at a hospital, till he is transported. The second phase of the plan has to do with the preparation of transportation, in coordination with the Ministry of Civil Defense, the Emergency Department and all stakeholders, under the supervision of Dr. Badr al-Eteibi, a consultant physician of emergency and disasters, with the aim of achieving safe and secure transportation of the patient to KFMC in Riyadh. Thereafter, the medical crew, headed by Dr. Ayed al-Qahtani, consultant of laparoscopic surgery and obesity, has embarked on treatment.
“It goes without saying that this rare, difficult case has required much planning, especially from the civil defense team, which had to abolish the wall of the house, and build a pier to get him out, and then bring him from the second floor,” Dr. al-Yamani explained.
He further expounded that “the implementation of the aforementioned phases has required manufacturing some special devices in the U.S.A., and ordering some other devices and tools, such as the safe, special bed, crane and wheelchair, all of which were inevitable for the peculiarly extraordinary case. Experiments and rehearsals had been applied to ensure the safety and efficiency of all phases. I cannot but laud the concerted effort by all the involved sectors, the health and civil defense sectors alike.”
It should be noted, His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Rabeeah, had formed a committee, headed by the Deputy Minister for Curative Services, Dr. Abdulaziz al-Hemeidi, and having in its membership Dr. Ayed al-Qahtani, consultant of laparoscopic surgery and obesity, as well as representatives of the relevant authorities from the Ministry of Defense (as represented by the Air Transport and Air Medical Evacuation Department), the Ministry of Interior (as represented by the Civil Defense Department), the Red Crescent Authority, King Fahad Medical City, and Jazan Health Affairs Directorate, in an effort to transport the patient from Jazan to KFMC.
Dr. Ayed al-Qahtani, head of the medical crew and consultant of laparoscopic surgery and obesity, for his part, was quoted as saying, “the second phase included moving the patient to the ambulance dedicated particularly for this case, which is extraordinary, given the fact that not a single similar case has ever existed. This was followed by moving him to C-130 military aircraft by using a special technique, and then moving him once again from the aircraft to KFMC by an ambulance, and then to his room at the city.”
The patient, according to Dr. al-Qahtani, was born in 1412H, and his pregnancy and birth were natural. At his fifth month, however, he began to develop convulsions and loss of consciousness. During his second year of age, his weight began to quickly increase, and that hampered his childhood, motion and activity. He has five siblings, the eldest of whom (23 years old) suffers from obesity (150 kilograms), whereas his sister (18 years) suffers from obesity too (100 kilograms).
The head of the medical crew, Dr. al-Qahtani, concluding his statement, made clear that the patient has been bedridden for about three years. He is entirely unable to move, even to the bathroom. Nor is he able to move his lower limbs.


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