MOH News
Dr. Naelah Abul-Jadayel: “Respiratory Diseases the Most Common in Hajj”
03 October 2013
Dr. Naelah Abul-Jadayel, a consultant physician of respiratory diseases and tuberculosis, has regarded respiratory diseases as among the most common diseases in the Hajj and Umrah seasons. These diseases, according to Dr. Naelah, are classified as per the site of infection in the respiratory system; this could be an upper respiratory tract infection (including inflammation of the nose, pharynx, tonsils, throat and sinuses). The other type of respiratory infection is that which affects the lower respiratory tract infection (including bronchitis and pneumonia, which are caused by either a viral or bacterial infection). The last type of respiratory infections take the form of dyspnea attacks (shortness of breath), caused by the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, frequently affecting older persons and tobacco-users.
 
Dr. Naelah has affirmed that the Ministry of Health (MOH), as has been the case over the past years, has paid thorough attention to early preparations for the Hajj season, by means of the equipments and plans designated for the health facilities of the Holy Sites (hospitals and health centers at the land, sea and air ports). That is to be added to the preventive plans meant to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among pilgrims, in addition to following up the workflow with the Hajj committees with the aim of providing health care for the guests of Allah (pilgrims), and making sure there is a health environment for pilgrims to perform the Hajj rituals. Besides, the hospitals and health centers, as well as the emergency and ambulatory services, operate at full capacity around the clock throughout the Hajj season.
 
Dr. Naelah made this statement while being interviewed at the MOH Media and Health Awareness Information Center, as part of the service dubbed: “Pilgrims' health is our concern.” People suffering respiratory disorders, or willing to perform Hajj soundly and easily, could get apt answers for their enquiries by contacting the Center via the toll-free number: 8002494444, or via the MOH Twitter account: @saudimoh.
 
“Due to the expansion of the Holy Sites currently being carried out,” said Dr. Naelah, “I would recommend that pilgrims who have formerly performed the Hajj put off Hajj for the coming years, especially the older persons and those suffering respiratory disorders, as well as those receiving chemotherapy, renal failure patients, patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and patients who take immunosuppressive drugs. They should ask for the physician's advice in this regard.”
 
Answering a host of questions received by the MOH's account on Twitter, Dr. Naelah made clear that tuberculosis (also known as: TB) is curable, by using the anti-TB drugs within a treatment duration of 6 to 9 months. The Ministry provides diagnostic and curative services of TB at its general hospitals, as well as follow-up and epidemiological surveillance health centers, in accordance with the internationally approved standards of diagnosis and treatment. All these hospitals and centers adopt the same mechanism and therapeutic protocol.
 
In response to a question on whether the bronchodilator (ventolin) has a negative effect on the lungs, Dr. Naelah pointed out that it is one of the medications designated for the treatment of asthma. It is effective in widening bronchitis, thus improving the case of the patient suffering respiratory failure. It is widely used, and has no effect on the lungs. It is recommended in cases of respiratory failure and on the incidence of respiratory attack. It is advisable to be used along with the preventive sprayer to control the disease, under ongoing medical supervision.
 
Dr. Naelah Abul-Jadayel went on to say that continuous cough in children is rather a respiratory symptom than a disease in itself. It might be attributed to a mild inflammation in the upper respiratory tract; such as colds, sore throat or tonsillitis. Most often, they prove slight infections that take only a few days to be cured. Still in other cases, it may be attributed to asthmatic allergy or viral and bacterial pneumonia; and the treatment varies according to the cause.
 



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