MOH News
Annual Conference for Common Diseases in Hajj Comes to a Close
26 September 2014
Under the auspices of His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, Eng. Adel bin Mohammed Faqih, the Annual Conference Common Diseases in Hajj was held on Thursday, 25th of September, 2014.  The conference that lasted for two days, was organized by Makkah Health Affairs General Directorate at Al-Nour Specialist Hospital.
A number of participants from inside and outside the Kingdom addressed the conference, including Prof. Tariq Ahmed Madani, advisor to the Minister of Health and chairman of the Medical Advisory Board, who tackled the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), and the efforts that have been made to control the disease. Also, Dr. Anees Sendi, advisor to the Minister of Health and the deputy director of the Command and Control Center, touched upon the role of the center in combating infectious diseases, and the preparations made for this year's Hajj season.
Following the first session of the conference, Dr. Tariq Madani said that he has provided the conference with an elaborate account of Coronavirus which was transmitted to some cases during the last period. “However, thanks to Allah,” he said, “currently the situation is under control.” The conference witnessed discussion of several topics including the Command and Control Center directly overseen by the Acting Minister of Health, with Dr. Anees Sindi acting on whose behalf. In addition, various lectures about the other common diseases in Hajj were delivered during the conference.
Regarding the objectives of the conference, Dr. Madani said "The objectives of the conferences encompass providing awareness to the workers in the health sector, including Physicians, nurses and health practitioners with different specialties, about the common diseases in Hajj and how to deal with them from the diagnostic and preventive aspects. For example in the Corona Virus case, how to isolate the patient, report about the case, in addition to addressing other infectious diseases."
On his part, the deputy director of the Command and Control Center, Dr. Anees Sindi, said that the attendees were briefed about the Command and Control center and its role during this year's Hajj season, and the way of cooperation between the center and the workers of the health sector during Hajj.
 He explained that "the center, which was established three months ago, coinciding the Corona Virus crisis in Jeddah, is tasked with addressing any cases or health crises occurring in the Kingdom as a whole. And thanks to Allah, the center responded swiftly to the crisis and the outbreak of the disease was successfully controlled."
He added that "the role of the Center is to prevent the occurrence of any further medical crises in the future due to communicable or non-communicable diseases in the health sector. The main focus of the center is currently relying on the Hajj season, in order to be ready, Allah willing, to address the onset of any potential infectious diseases such as Corona and Ebola, as well as how to control them and to provide the necessary prevention against them."
Likewise, he emphasized that the Hajj season this year represents a challenge for the Command and Control Center, saying "We do like challenges, and we agree that this year represents a challenge to the center, but we are going to overcome this challenge with the help of Allah in the first place, and the support of all the members of the health cadre participating in the Hajj season. The center this year will take up a precautionary rather than curative role, with a view to preventing the spread of any infectious cases at all hospitals of the Holy Capital (Makkah), the Holy Sites and Madinah."
He went on to say, "in this year's Hajj season, we have placed greater emphasis on Corona and Ebola in light of their spread recently, and given their seriousness; particularly Ebola, which is spreading currently in Africa and might reach the Hajj. However, our role is focused mainly on prevention and field surveys, thereby endeavoring to prevent the spread of the diseases (either Ebola or Corona), by monitoring the pilgrims since their arrival to the Kingdom's ports of entry. Provided the onset of Ebola symptoms on a pilgrim, he will be isolated and provided with the needed care from the medical side to prevent spread of the disease." He underlined that the preventive measures have been adopted early enough, following the decision by virtue of which issuance of Hajj and Umrah visas from the countries affected by epidemic diseases has been suspended.
The conference was attended by the deputy director of Makkah Health Affairs General Directorate, Dr. Serri Aseeri, and the Director of Al-Nour Specialist Hospital, Dr. Mohammed Ba-Faraj.

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