MOH News
The Minister of Health Checks on the Health Status of Pilgrims
24 September 2014
His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, Eng. Adel bin Mohammed Faqih, has checked on the health status of the pilgrims as well as the preventive and therapeutic health services provided for them through the Command and Control Center.
 
This came while his chairing of the Jeddah-based meeting of the MOH and the Command and Control Center senior officers yesterday, whereas all the health indicators related to pilgrim's health have been reviewed. The meeting also reviewed the work process in the Command and Control Center's platforms and what has been achieved so far with regard to the health plan of this year's Hajj season.
 
In addition, His Excellency Eng. Faqih has tackled reports sent by all preparatory committees on preparations, programs, plans and experimental operations in order to make sure that all facilities and manpower are ready for the Hajj season. Meanwhile, Eng. Faqih expressed his satisfaction with the results of the experimental operations, which were conducted by the ministry and showed readiness of all sectors to deal with the infectious diseases. The minister thanked all governmental bodies for their participation in implementing these experimental operations.
 
Still, the minister has launched during the meeting the website of the Health Awareness Program “Your Health Essential for Your Hajj” on the following link: www.moh.gov.sa/hajj. In his opening speech, Eng. Faqih underlined that the MOH is one of state’s sectors, which is meant with serving the pilgrims and providing healthcare services for them since their arrival in the Kingdom and till their departure for homelands.
 
He noted that the ministry has recruited about 22,000 health practitioners and administrative officials of different specialties to serve the visitors of the Holy Mosque in Makkah. Also, the ministry has upgraded many health facilities in Makkah, Madinah and Holy Sites, including 25 hospitals with a total capacity of 5,250 beds, in addition to 141 permanent and seasonal health centers; that is to be added to the establishment of advanced ambulatory centers in the Holy Mosque in Makkah.
 
He added that the ministry has equipped these health facilities with specialized medical teams and cutting-edge technologies and devices to render high-level health services for pilgrims, including cardiac catheterizations, open-heart surgeries, gastrointestinal tract endoscopy operations, and kidney dialysis.
 
In the same vein, Eng. Faqih highlighted that the ministry has paid close attention to the preventive aspect and the protection of pilgrims’ health as it launched wide-ranging preventive and awareness programs and issued the health requirements in this regard. In addition, the ministry has set up health surveillance centers at entry ports and launched several epidemiological surveillance programs to examine the visiting pilgrims. Also, the ministry launched the Health Awareness Program, which uses several strategies to reach the pilgrims and runs in several languages.
 
Earlier, the ministry established the Command and Control Center with a view to increasing responsiveness and the ability to deal with the health emergency cases, in a manner that contributes to reinforcing the control system through monitoring and reporting the suspected epidemic cases in the health facilities at Hajj sites. The center includes 11 platforms, each of which is tasked with addressing a specific topic but all are working under the coordination of the Control Tower Platform, which acts as the backbone of the whole operation.
 
During the meeting, the head of each platform made a presentation on the tasks of his platform as following:
The Head of the Clinical Operations Platform, Dr. Wail Tashkandi, reviewed the curative measures taken to combat the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Coronavirus) and Ebola Hemorrhagic fever.
Afterwards, the Head of the Infection Control Platform, Dr. Abdullah Assiri, reviewed what has been achieved so far to evaluate health facilities and workers along with hospitals in Makkah, Madinah and the Holy Sites. In addition, Dr. Assiri tackled the training plan, shedding light on the importance of using a protective mask when dealing with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Coronavirus) cases, that’s to be added to ways of sterilizing facilities and means of transportation after using them.
 
Meanwhile, the Head of the achievements and preparations platform, Dr. Tarief Al-Aa'ma, briefed the minister on all preparations made for providing curative services for the Coronavirus and Ebola cases.
 
As for the Control Tower Platform, its Head Dr. Tariq Al-Arnous and his Deputy Khalid Abu Haimid revealed all achievements made so far with regard to plans and preparations of the Command and Control Center and the role of the (937) call center.
 
In the same vein, the Head of the Communications Platform, Dr. Khalid Marghlani, reviewed the awareness plans, particularly those related to the control of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Coronavirus), Ebola and the other common diseases in Hajj. He also stressed the need for using all media outlets and social networking websites during this Hajj season, that’s to be added to applying the concept of social marketing, which focuses on the targeted group and the best ways to communicate with it.
 
Within a similar vein, the Head of the Medical Advisory Council, Dr. Tariq Medani, shed light on the latest studies and researches, which will be adopted during this Hajj season. They reached up to 30 researches.
 
Over and above, the Head of the Public Health Platform, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed, said his platform is tasked with monitoring patients at the Saudi ports in coordination with the health organizations and the relevant authorities, particularly those coming from Nigeria. He also talked about the epidemiological surveillance, which is carried out by the platform through health screening cards.
The Head of the Laboratory Platform, Dr. Mohamed Quotb, reviewed what has been achieved so far regarding the deployment of a mobile lab in the eastern part of Arafat to screen patients of Coronavirus and other infectious diseases, such as dengue fever and asfarviridae. He revealed the platform’s plan to transport the samples from the Holy Sites’ hospitals to the mobile lab through the FedEx Corporation, in addition to setting a mechanism for collecting samples from Ebola cases.
 
It is to be noted here that the website includes the health requirements and guidelines to be followed by pilgrims before, during and after performing the Hajj rituals. It also sheds light on the chronic diseases in Hajj and the stance of women and children during the Hajj season. In addition, the website includes guidelines on the novel Coronavirus, along with awareness messages, publications, video files, an information center and the Pilgrims’ Health Program.
 
Also, the website comprises health reports and guidebooks, including a Pocket Guide for Clinicians during Hajj and the Precautions Guide; that’s to be added to the program “Your Commitment Protects Us”. Moreover, any person can identify the health facilities and watch live streaming of Hajj through the website, which includes awareness messages in five languages besides Arabic and English. It also includes two icons for the latest health updates and news in Hajj; that’s to be added to links for MOH pages on social networking websites, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
 
The meeting was attended by His Excellency the Vice Minister for Health Affairs, Dr. Mansour bin Nasser Al-Hawasi, His Excellency the Vice Minister for Planning and Development, Dr. Muhammad Khoshaim, the Deputy Director of the Command and Control Center, Dr. Anas Sendi, along with senior MOH officials and heads of Hajj preparatory committees.



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