MOH News

Al-Falih: “MOH to Adopt a Systematic Approach to Build National Research Competences, Benefiting from MERS-CoV Experience”
16 November 2015
His Excellency the Minister of Health, Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, has revealed: “Although the fact that the experience of the Middle east Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) is hard and challenging, I am still optimistic that it will help us build a research competences, that will raise the level of the Kingdom up to the position it deserves as a leading country in terms of the health system.” He pointed out that scientific research and development of drugs and treatment are the missing gap that hinders the achievement of this objective. He highlighted that the Ministry of Health (MOH) plans, as a significant step in this respect, to hold the World Conference for MERS-CoV Vaccine Research in Riyadh. 

“I have very high expectations of the youth capabilities in this country regarding the scientific research domain,” Al-Falih stated. He added that MOH will assume its leading role, in collaboration with other health services ‎providers, universities, and research organizations under its umbrella, in terms of coordinating efforts with Saudi authorities, establishing international partnerships, and adopting a systematic approach, to constantly build research competences.


This came after his meeting yesterday with participants of the World Conference for MERS-CoV Vaccine Research, which was held at King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh, in presence of the Advisory Board ‎members of MOH Command and Control Centre (CCC).


Furthermore, he indicated that health system in the Kingdom is fairly new, compared with the developed countries, which achieved deeper progress than we have in the Kingdom. "Although we have achieved a major development in treatment and epidemic prevention over the past decades, we did not reach a significant step in medical research field, that enables us to produce drugs and vaccines for ourselves. Therefore, we still rely on the global pharmaceutical industry and global research centers. Novel diseases are still few in the Kingdom, the matter which is likely the cause that we did not have a strong motivation for the development of scientific research domain," said Al-Falih.


In regard to MERS-CoV, the Minister of Health revealed that the Kingdom is almost the only country, suffering from this disease, as 85% of MERS-CoV cases are recorded there, without identifying its causes so far. Despite other countries have camels; they have few primary cases, and spread-limited infection, even with the lack of their capabilities and research readiness than the kingdom.


He pointed out that there are some MERS-CoV features, which makes the Kingdom an appropriate or ideal environment for the virus. Therefore, there is a strong need for developing researches in the Kingdom to confront this virus; proceeding from the Kingdom's responsibilities towards its citizens and the world.


As for the World Conference for MERS-CoV Vaccine Research in Riyadh, Al-Falih highlighted that it is the first assembly of its kind, which achieved successfully in attracting and gathering the research institutions and funding organizations under the same roof; in order to discuss how to find out a vaccine, and the feature that makes the Kingdom different, with regard to MERS-CoV outbreak, from other countries. Finally, Al-Falih hopes that coronavirus is to be the last epidemic disease emerges in the Kingdom.


Last Update : 24 November 2015 10:52 PM
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