MOH News
Dr. Al-Arnos: 157 Highly-Equipped Ambulances to Serve Pilgrims
09 September 2015
The Director-General of Health Emergency; and the head of Emergency and Field Medicine Committee at the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr. Tarek Al-Arnos, pointed out that the Ministry has prepared 100 small highly-equipped ambulances, with medicine and qualified technical medical cadre experienced in dealing with mass gathering events. That is to be added to other 57 large ambulances to provide treatment for the cases in the field, so as to alleviate burden on the hospitals of the Holy Sites.

During a press conference held today morning (Wednesday 25/11/1436H (corresponding to 09/09/2015), Dr. Al-Arnos said that the Ministry has introduced 30 new small ambulances to participate in this year's Hajj season; to cover all the areas of pilgrims and transport the cases who require completing treatment in hospitals. 

Furthermore, Dr. Al-Arnos explained that, in preparation for this year's Hajj season, the Committee has updated the Hajj medical evacuation plan in coordination with the Civil Defense Department, within the general plan of the civil defense management in Hajj, including crisis response plans. Besides, helipads were equipped and inspected for readiness in 6 hospitals; including Arafat General Hospital, Al-Noor Specialist Hospital, Heraa General Hospital, Mena Emergency Hospital, East Arafat Hospital, and the King Abdullah Medical City (KAMC); and simulations for evacuating patients were conducted. The committee prepared and operated the 18 health emergency points at the train stations of the Holy Sites.

Dr. Al-Arnos went on to add that the small ambulances were prepared and the medical equipment were reinstalled on them, and they were distributed to the different locations, including 74 ambulances for the medical teams in the Holy Sites, 18 ambulances for the stations of the Holy Sites' train, and 8 ambulances for the emergency medical points stationed at the central area of the Holy Mosque in Makkah. 

Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Arnos said that, as per the set distribution plan, 57 large ambulances (dubbed: Sanad) were distributed to the locations in Makkah and the Holy Sites as follows: 32 ambulances were distributed to the Holy Sites' hospitals, 10 ambulances to the entry ports' health centers, 15 ambulances to the Emergency Complex in Al-Measam to provide support to the emergency cases, in addition to 25 ambulances to Madinah hospitals. He added that the locations of such ambulances are spotted by the Global Positioning System (GPS), which was updated, pointing out that the Central Operation Room will help overcome any obstacles facing the ambulances. Additionally, he said that, 12 motorcycles were supplied to follow up these teams, supervised by experts to provide them with the technical support and guidance on the event of obstacles.

Dr. Al-Arnos made clear that the Emergency and Field Medicine Committee, this year, is made up of 830 physicians, ambulance technicians, and nurses distributed as follows: 138 in the Jamarat Bridge (Jisr al-Jamart), 87 in the patios around the Grand Mosque, and 605 working within the field teams covering the Holy Sites.

He noted that the Committee focuses on covering the overcrowded areas such as Namirah mosque, Ar-Rahmah Mountain, which is covered by 24 teams in anticipation of falling cases resulting from the insistence of some pilgrims to climb the mountain, pointing out to the cooperation between all the bodies participating in the Hajj including, the Civil Defense Department, Traffic Department, and the Red Crescent to deal with such cases in the field.

Dr. Al-Arnos said that training was provided to all teams to deal withthe Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) suspected cases, in coordination with the preventive medicine agency, explaining the sleeping on the roads is the biggest obstacle facing the field teams while assuming their duties in transferring some cases that need medical care in hospitals.

Further, Dr. Al-Arnos said that the ministry focused this year to support all teams with the devices dealing with the heat exhaustion and sunstroke, in anticipation of the high temperature in the region this year. 

He went on to point out that the ministry recorded a remarkable increase in the cases receiving field medicine services. "The medical teams tackled more than 16.000 cases in the last year's Hajj season, that number is expected to reach more than 19.000 cases to be treated in this year's Hajj season,'' he expounded.

 



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