MOH News
Ministry of Health Announces Package of Preventive Measures to Protect Pilgrims against Corona and Ebola
03 September 2014
His Excellency the Vice Minister of Health for Planning and Development, Chief of the Hajj Preparatory Committees, Dr. Mohammad Bin Hamza Khoshaim, presided over the Sixth Meeting of the Hajj Preparatory Committees held in the MOH Headquarters, in the presence of the members of these committees. Attendees of the meeting discussed the MOH's preparations for this year's Hajj season in terms of the curative, preventive and ambulatory aspects.
This comes in line with the directives and follow-up of his Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, Eng. Adel Mohammed Faqih, to ensure taking all necessary measures and preparations for this year's Hajj season and provide the best services to the Hajj pilgrims (guests of Allah).
This has been announced by the Supervisor-General of Hajj and Umrah Health Services, Dr. Hussain Ghannam, who indicated the readiness of all health facilities to provide health services to the Hajj performers at the directives of the Rulers, May Allah protect them, lauding the hospitals and medical centers provided by MOH in Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites. He said that the meeting touched upon the latest preparations of the committees participating in the MOH's 1435H-Hajj plan, where the demands and needs of all MOH Hajj-related committees have been discussed and prepared to provide services of high quality.
He went on adding that the meeting discussed also the package of procedures adopted by the Ministry to address the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERC-CoV), including the establishment of  the Command and Control Center, which works around the clock with a view to increasing responsiveness and the ability to deal with the health emergency cases, in a manner that contributes to reinforcing control system through monitoring and reporting the suspected epidemic cases in the health facilities deployed throughout the Hajj areas. These measures also include establishing the scientific advisory board, issuing firm guidelines to contain the dangers of infection spread, determining a number of hospitals to deal with the infected cases, in addition to providing scientific guidelines on how to deal with the suspected cases.
Moreover, Dr. Ghannam said that the most significant preparations include supporting intensive care and emergency units in Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites with the necessary cadres, and preparing them in line with the health requirements. Such requirements include the readiness to treat the common diseases in the Hajj and address epidemics, besides intensifying courses to address Coronavirus cases and infections in general. The meeting also agreed to support Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites with highly equipped ambulances.
Over and above, Dr. Ghannam emphasized the keenness and readiness of MOH to address the infectious diseases, particularly Coronavirus and Ebola, and to tighten control over the epidemiological situation of the diseases in the Hajj season. Meanwhile, face-masks have been distributed to all workers in the Hajj season.
In the same context, Dr. Ghannam disclosed that the Ministry keeps a close eye on the health developments and changes the world is undergoing, through the reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the international health bodies. In this spirit, the Ministry applies all health prerequisites to all those coming to perform Hajj rituals, as well as applying the infectious control program in the hospitals of the Holy Sites to avoid any sources of infection. He added that the Ministry has renovated intensive care units, particularly East Arafat Hospital in the Holy Sites, and Ohud Hospital in Madinah. That is to be added to developing isolation rooms in the hospitals of Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites.
Within the same vein, MOH has updated health prerequisites to be met by all incoming visitors to perform Hajj, including suspending Hajj and Umrah visas from three African countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, since at least four months, owing to the outbreak of Ebola virus in those countries, in coordination with the Ministry of Hajj and the Ministry of Foreign affairs. The MOH has also operated 15 health control centers at the Kingdom's land ports, seaports and airports, and provided them with the manpower, equipments and vaccines to act as the first line of defense in the application of the health prerequisites on all arriving pilgrims. In addition to that, the Ministry has recruited a number of family and community medicine consultants to work around the clock at King Abdul-Aziz Airport in Jeddah, and Prince Mohamed bin Abdul-Aziz Airport in Madinah for checking the emergency cases. 
Dr. Ghannam went on saying that the meeting has reviewed reports of the Hajj Consecutive Committees, which showed readiness of the hospitals in Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites with all medical and non-medical supplies and requirements.
Finally, Dr. Ghannam has expressed his wishes for the Ministry to succeed in providing the best health services for the pilgrims during this Hajj season, and to continue its annual successes, as is the case in each season. This is thanks to the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and His Royal Highness the Second Deputy, may Allah protect them, for their token interest in providing all means of comfort for pilgrims. In so doing, they consider this service as a sacred duty which needs all capabilities to be harnessed, all efforts and capacities to be exerted, and the level of provided services to be boosted.

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