MOH News
Dr. Al-Sherif Values the King's Patronage of Mass Gathering Conference
18 September 2013
The Secretary-General of the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance, Dr. Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Sherif, has valued the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, May Allah protect him, for the 2nd International Conference for Mass Gathering Medicine, to be organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh over the period 15-17/11/1434H, (corresponding to 21-23/09/2013).
Meanwhile, Dr. Al-Sherif stressed that this important occasion is an extension for the unlimited support and care paid by our wise leader to upgrade the health sector as well as its events and vital activities; in an endeavor to preserve the health and safety of the people of this beloved country, especially those coming to perform Hajj and Umrah.
Dr. Al-Sherif also noted that the Conference is a unique opportunity to gain scientific and professional knowledge through the exchange of experiences and information; that is to be added to revision of the similar experiences in mass gathering medicine and management. In addition, the Conference is to assess and evaluate the plans and procedures applied in the management of mass gathering, expand the positive aspects and activate the teamwork approach among the bodies concerned with pilgrimage in a comprehensive and harmonious manner.
Moreover, Dr. Al-Sherif added that the management of mass gathering has passed by three phases. The first phase started with the pre-Islamic era, when our Almighty Allah ordered the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon Him, to call for people to perform pilgrimage. The post-Islamic era witnessed the second phase, when pilgrimage was ordained during the era of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him; since then, pilgrimage has become the fifth pillar of Islam. The third phase started with the modern era after the establishment of a civil state at the hands of the founding King Abdulaziz, May Allah rest his soul in peace; thereby, Makkah has become the oldest part in the world to be thronged by thousands of people in one place at one time to perform the same rituals.
However, the modern era was characterized by the development of air, sea and land transportation services, leading to facilitate and speed up access to Makkah, till the number of pilgrims had exceeded two million pilgrims. As a result, the large number of pilgrims required dealing with the current and potential variables in an overall look, taking the administrative, constructional, health, services and humanitarian aspects into account.
Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Sherif underscored that the success of the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in organizing the Hajj season was not a stroke of luck, but it was accomplished through the right thought and wide vision aiming at developing a multi-element plan to make Muslims coming from all over the world perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah with ease.
Moreover, Dr. Al-Sherif highlighted that the developmental projects include the Jamarat Bridge as well as the expansion of the Holy Mosque at Makkah, and Mass Rail Transit Project, along with other projects. The cost of such projects had exceeded hundreds of billions. For that reason, the Kingdom had received an international praise for its unique experience in organizing the pilgrimage season, as the Kingdom manages the affairs of more than two million pilgrims within a limited geographic and time scope, the matter making it as a leading example.
Dr. Al-Sherif added that the wide-scale participation in the Conference reflects its scientific and professional importance, as the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS), as well as the Secretary-General of the the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG), and the Regional Director of the WHO's Office for the Eastern Mediterranean are expected to attend the Conference. In addition, the Health Ministers of the USA, France, Cuba, Canada, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia and South Korea, as well as the members of the International Advisory Board of the Saudi Ministry of Health, and a number of experts and scientists from different countries all over the world will attend the Conference as well.
Finally, Dr. Al-Sherif called for the concerned persons, specialists and mass media to make advantage of this Conference as much as possible through attendance and participation, each in the respective field.

Last Update : 24 September 2013 10:25 AM
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