MOH News
Minister of Health: "22.000 MOH Employees in the Service of Hajj Pilgrims"
11 September 2014
His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, Eng. Adel bin Mohammed Faqih, asserted that the Ministry proceeds on intensifying its preparations, and providing health services for this year's Hajj season (1435H), according to a thought-out health plan, and in coordination with all the parties participating in the Holy Sites, Makkah and Madinah. In this spirit, as close as 22.000 MOH employees of all medical, technical and administrative categories have been assigned to serve the Hajj pilgrims (guests of Allah). 
On this occasion, His Excellency the Minister of Health said, "In line with the royal directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques - May Allah protect him - all government and private institutions in general, and the Ministry of Health in particular, are participating, through direct and ongoing coordination with all entities,   according to a health plan to be set every year. Such a plan is to take into consideration the health conditions in the countries from which pilgrims come, with particular emphasis on the preventive side, ongoing development in terms of the level of the services provided to the pilgrims, and exerting every effort to provide the best therapeutic, preventive and ambulatory services, for all the pilgrims from their arrival in the territories of KSA, through all the roads they take, down to the Hajj sites and Madinah and up to their departure - Allah willing - to their countries, healthy and safe."
Within the same vein, the Minister of Health went on adding that at an earlier stage, the MOH started to send its health requirements to the Saudi Embassies and Consulates abroad and apply the preventive measures that help make the Hajj and the pilgrims free from all the epidemic and infectious diseases.  Not only that, it also has prepared 15 health monitoring centers at all the land, sea and air ports, through which the Hajj performers hail. In addition, it has prepared 25 hospitals and 141 primary healthcare centers to provide high-quality health services for the pilgrims in the Holy Sites, Makkah and Madinah. 
Still, the Minister of Health made clear that the MOH possesses a field ambulatory fleet providing field medical services and transporting the illness cases, as well as dealing with the emergency cases that could take place. The fleet is made up of 165 ambulances with different sizes, highly prepared for transferring patients between health facilities in the Holy Sites, Makkah and Madinah.
In a similar fashion, the Minister of Health went on pointing out that the MOH's plan for this year's Hajj season depends on the collective, joint and coordinated performance based on work methods and prepared and studied information before the Hajj season kicks off. This plan helps benefiting from all the MOH’s human and financial resources and capabilities, directly addressing the obstacles which might come up during its implementation and taking note of them as cases to be studied and implemented, if necessary, in the next Hajj season after making the necessary planning and preparations.
Further, through the committees formed "which start their work at the end of each year’s Hajj season, the organizational and technical aspects are highlighted through the direct follow-up and supervision for implementing the plans and programs during the Hajj season, reviewing the health situation reports and the level of services provided by the bodies concerned, and studying the obstacles which face the workflow to find the proper solutions," the Minister elaborated.
He further remarked that the MOH’s plan for the Hajj seasons focuses on the seasonal health facilities at the Hajj areas, in addition to boosting all the budget items relevant to the permanent health facilities which work throughout the year in Makkah, Madinah and Hajj areas to cope with the growing number of visitors.
Over and above, Eng. Faqih noted that the main features of the MOH's preparations for the Hajj Season 1435 H, are centered on many plans and programs going with the demography of the Hajj areas and the weather conditions during the Hajj seasons. This comes as part of a system supported by plans and programs that are dealt with by the committees formed, tasks and time required for all the work stages.
Additionally, the Minister of Health said that the dimensions of the MOH’s health plan for the Hajj season 1435 H are based on seven important pivots; they are made up of the preventive services, therapeutic services, ambulatory and emergency services, technical support services, operational services, developmental services and media services.
The Minister also stressed that the MOH has taken as its top priority focusing on the pilgrims’ preventive aspects.  As such, remarkable for its massive human gathering within a limited geographical scope and time frame, the Hajj season constitutes a factor increasing the likelihood of the outbreaks or the epidemics of the infectious diseases, particularly the diseases transmitted by air, food and water, as well as vector-borne diseases. Some of these diseases are categorized on their incidence as a public health emergency, which may be of international concern.
He also affirmed that MOH's plan aims at controlling and preventing the incidence of epidemics and the infectious diseases, and their spread in the form of an epidemic during the Hajj season. It also aims at making the Hajj season free of any diseases - Allah willing. To that end, specific preventive measures are taken through the (the Preventive Program) with all its structures and implementing mechanisms all over the health facilities in Makkah and Madinah, within a plan covering all the activities and preventive measures.
Within the same vein, the Minister of Health pointed out that the Ministry has set special measures regarding the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERC-CoV), in addition to the ongoing epidemiological surveillance for all the epidemiological developments and applying early measures. Such measures include following the international and internal epidemic status of the fast-spreading infectious diseases and the diseases subject to health regulations before and after the Hajj season, early detecting and epidemiological surveillance of the cases, adopting preventive measures, in addition to issuing and circulating the health requirements to be met by those willing to perform the Hajj rituals according to the international epidemic developments to all the relevant authorities. These measures are to involve vaccination campaigns for the citizens, residents and those participating in the Hajj program from all sectors, distributing the preventive treatment in the ports to all those coming from the countries highly- stricken by some epidemic diseases, Saudi Hajj performers and those taking part in the Hajj program, once the Hajj season is finished before their return to their countries.
Concluding, the Minister of Health said that the MOH has launched recently the Control and Command Center; a new permanent unit for the protecting the public and raising the level of readiness for addressing any health challenges in the future. This center will in turn ensure -Allah willing - the MOH’s ability to take proactive and swift measures to confront any future challenges related to the public health in the Kingdom, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERC-CoV) by means of coordination and continuous monitoring.

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