MOH News
The Kingdom to Celebrate the World Health Day 2014
06 April 2014
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrates the World Health Day on April 7th of each year. The theme of the World Health Day 2014 is the vector-borne diseases. Each year a theme is selected for the World Health Day that highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world. The slogan of this year's campaign is "Small Bite, Big Threat".
 
The most common vector-borne diseases in the Kingdom are malaria, dengue fever, rift valley fever, Leishmaniasis and schistosomiasis.
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted that the most serious vector-borne disease is malaria, killing an estimated number of 660,000 cases in 2010 (most of them were African children). During the past 50 years, dengue cases have escalated 30-fold. Trade globalization, travel, climate changes, and urbanization were amid the factors beyond the wide spread of the vector-borne diseases in the newly-affected countries.
 
The MOH's Annual Statistical Book read that during the year (1433/2012), the number of infected cases with malaria in the Kingdom has risen by 22% compared to the previous year, recording 2,788 cases. In 2012, there were 1,464 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Cases were spread all over the Kingdom, but there was eminent variation regarding its prevalence rate among the different regions. Al—Qassim region markedly has the highest incidence rate (28.23 cases per 100,000 populations). The report added that the cutaneous leishmaniasis reached its peak in the winter season of 1433/2012. Of all 23 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 18 states have recorded cases with cutaneous leishmaniasis, including the Saudi Arabia.
 
According to the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Annual Statistical Book, the health bodies managed to control Schistosomiasis (also known as Bilharzia) during the past 20 years in a number of states, including Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
 
In a report released by the MOH's National Center for the Health Media and Awareness, the vectors were defined as living organisms that can transmit infectious diseases between humans (or from animals) to humans. The vector-borne diseases are caused by disease-vectors and often found in tropical regions, where insects prevail, and access to drinking water and sanitation is not safe.
 
The vector-borne diseases are considered the most serious, since they are unpredictable, let alone the fact that it is very difficult to prevent or control it, given that infection may occur even after treatment and the disease-borne insects are deeply rooted in the environment where they prevail.
 
The seriousness of vectors resides in their ability to transmit the disease at a large scale in shorter time than other infectious diseases that necessitate human-to-human contact. Over and above, vectors can transmit diseases among different living beings (mice, rats, monkeys, birds, dogs, etc.) and humans, thus giving way to the prevalence of various microorganisms triggering serious diseases. In addition to that, treatment of such diseases is rather difficult, and essentially necessitates the elimination of the vector.
 
The disease-vectors have several forms, including mosquitoes, flies (sand flies and black flies), ticks, bugs, and snails carrying parasites. The potential places where disease vectors exist are utensils and ridges containing stagnant water, swimming pools, rainwater raft (such as toys at gardens), abandoned places and tools, uncovered water tanks at the kitchen and bathroom, ridges containing stagnant water, stagnant water drained by the air-conditioner and poor ventilation, stagnant water at roofs, swimming pools, ponds and marshes, especially in agrarian places, animal pens, unclean beds and swimming places might be a good environment for bugs.
 
Precautions for protection against disease-vectors include combating the insects that transmit such diseases, as well as the places where their larvae exist, by using proper insecticides, filling ponds and marshes, eliminating wastes, and making sure not to let them pile up, putting on long-sleeved wears and covering legs at places where insects exist, using insect repellants, placing nets at doors and windows to prevent the entrance of insects, changing water at ridges every two days, and cleaning them from inside, avoid travelling to the countries/places stricken by vector-borne diseases, and making sure to take the necessary preventive drugs and vaccines when travelling, such as the yellow fever and malaria, avoiding swimming at ponds or stagnant water and maintaining personal hygiene constantly and using clean water for drinking or bathing.
 
In the meantime, the Manageress of the National Center for the Health Media and Awareness, the pharmacist Am'al bint Mu'awiah Abu Al-Jadayel, remarked that the work team in the Center are fully ready to receive any inquiries or questions on the vector-borne diseases throughout the days of the week and during the official work time via the center's toll-free number: 8002494444 and the MOH's account on Twitter: @SAUDIMOH. She further emphasized that a host of brochures, posters, and roll-ups on the vector-borne diseases were prepared, and they were distributed to the entire health affairs directorates throughout the Kingdom's regions; to benefit from them in marking this Day. In addition, the MOH prepared a host of audible advertisements and TV spots on the vector-borne diseases. A number of senior consultants were hosted in order to answer the callers’ queries on all different problems related to this type of diseases.
 
 
 
 
 
 



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