MOH News
Al-Amoudi: Regional Lab Working around the Clock to Serve Pilgrims
30 September 2014
In preparation for this year's Hajj season, Jeddah Health Affairs Directorate has provided all its health facilities with all medical equipments and manpower, in addition to the readiness shown by all its support health services, including medical laboratories, blood banks, maintenance and transport services, ambulances and emergency work.
The regional laboratory in Jeddah is one of the most important supportive health hubs in Jeddah, given the importance of the medical and logistic services provided by the center to health facilities throughout the year in general, and during the Hajj season in particular; especially when it comes to examining and receiving the laboratory samples from the hospitals and health centers and sending back results of the examinations.
Within this framework, the Supervisor-General of the Regional Laboratory, and the Director of the Laboratories and Blood Banks Department in Jeddah, Dr. Saeed Al-Amoudi, disclosed that the Regional Laboratory with all its sections has become ready since an early time to receive samples of blood detection in the Hajj season all day round, and the results are delivered within a period not exceeding 8 hours. He said that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has provided the laboratory with the calibers needed for examinations, as well as high-tech, state-of-the-art lab equipments. "The Lab has been provided with sufficient amounts of blood from all groups to meet the need of the Hajj season. In this regard a joint meeting was held between all the coordinators of MOH's hospitals blood banks and the other government hospitals such as: the Military Hospital, National Guard Hospital, and King Abdul-Aziz University Hospital. In addition, a number of blood donation campaigns were organized in the different trade centers and markets to secure the needed blood units," he elaborated.
Regarding the coordination between the Laboratory and the hospitals in Makkah, the Holy Sites and the Kingdom's different ports of entry, Dr. Al-Amoudi said that the keenness of MOH to swiftly transport the samples from and to the Lab served as the underlying reason for forging a contract with one of the international couriers, in addition to using the Ministry's public services vehicles to transport the samples according to the international standards and as quickly as possible. Thus, the transported samples would not be affected by the climate conditions in the event of late delivery. “Doing so,” he added, “the Ministry has covered all Kingdom's regions by means of blood samples transportation.” He further pointed out that Jeddah Laboratory is receiving currently samples from the government and private sector's hospitals in all parts of the Kingdom on a daily basis.
 In the same vein, Al-Amoudi revealed that the Regional Laboratory in Jeddah is ready to receive more than 1000 samples per day with the current cooperation and joint work between the laboratories in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.
He added that his department has equipped the laboratory of the Health Monitoring Centers at King Abdul-Aziz Airport concerned with conducting necessary examinations of any virus via the DNA. He went on saying that “this lab was also prepared to conduct serum examinations swiftly, in addition to the blood tests in the cases suspected with any epidemiological infections, besides sending the samples via FedEX to the Regional Lab in the case of multiple suspected cases to be delivered within less than half an hour and then to prepare the results within 6 to 8 hours.”
Regarding the manpower working in the Regional Lab, he said that the Lab is staffed with 63 employees, including 15 blood-bank officers assigned to cover any blood shortage at any time -Allah forbid - while the others are distributed to the viral and other ordinary laboratories, but the majority of them are in the virus section which is working around the clock (24/7).
Likewise, the director of Jeddah Regional Laboratory went on to explain that “the Lab continuously provides training and qualification to its staff. Also, a number of the lab employees were on scholarships and training on viruses, each according to his area of competence. 
In addition, some of them have participated in the international and local conferences.” He added that they have special training department which coordinates with MOH's Training General Department in this regard and to upgrade employees' level of scientific and practical performance, pointing out that Jeddah Regional Lab boasts its qualified calibers considered the best in the field of combating viruses all through the Kingdom.
He noted that the Kingdom has become a leader in the field of examinations relevant to Coronavirus via the DNA, adding that the Laboratory is ready to meet necessary and urgent blood requirements within less than an hour.

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