MOH News
Directors of Laboratories and Blood Banks, and Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Departments Hold Their Annual Meeting in Riyadh
02 December 2015
In the presence of the Deputy Minister of Health for Laboratories and Blood Banks, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Omar, the Directors of Laboratories and Blood Banks and Directors of Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Centers in the Kingdom’s regions and provinces, held their periodic meeting in Riyadh over the period from December 1st to 2nd, 2015 (corresponding to Safar 16th to 20th, 1437H).
 
Dr. Al-Omar pointed out that the two-day meeting aims at discussing the general strategy of the General Agency for Laboratories and Blood Banks, the organizational structures of the departments affiliated to the agency, as well as organizing workshops for the participants in the meeting, in an endeavor to explain them how to develop the strategy.  It also aims at setting up promising future plans for developing the laboratories and blood banks, in addition to the National Health Laboratory (NHL), as well as developing the general strategy which will contribute to improving the level of health services provided by the laboratories and blood banks in all regions of the Kingdom, Allah Willing.
 
He went on saying that the General Agency of Laboratories and Blood Banks, represented by the Laboratories and Blood Banks General Department, provides several external programs of quality, by means of bringing standard samples for measuring performance level of solutions and laboratory devices, given that these programs are available at all laboratory departments and blood banks and poison centers.
 
 “The Agency has developed a strategic plan to join the international accreditation programs, such as the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB),” he said, noting that King Abdulaziz Specialized Hospital in Taif has attained the CAP accreditation, and the work is underway to include many of medical laboratories and poison centers in this program.  
 
He added that he convened the CAP leaders to develop a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Health (MOH), with a view to including the laboratories and poison centers in this program, as well as involving the central blood banks in the AABB accreditation project. “Particularly due to the fact that the blood transfusion service is one of the most important pillars of the General Agency for Laboratories and Blood Banks, which has been included in the MOH's organization structure as a general department of blood banks, in order to achieve the desired goal, in terms of providing safe and high quality services, by implementing a centralized system of blood transfusion services, as well as linking them with an integrated information system to achieve the highest level of security and safety of blood transfusion,” he said. 
 
Moreover, Al-Omar indicated that the role of the NHL reflects the MOH endeavors to upgrade the laboratory health services, as being the first national laboratory of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, the matter which contributes to the localization of all testing, achieving the optimal use of resources, benefiting from their economic and investment aspects, and localizing the regulations as a reference for the advanced clinical tests, in addition to working to create a laboratory monitoring network for communicable and non-communicable diseases to ensure complementary action between all medical laboratories all over the health sectors in the Kingdom.
 
Finally, Al Omar highlighted that the MOH's centers of poison control and forensic chemistry are specialized centers and so important as far as security and judicial aspect is concerned, and there are nine centers in each of Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah, Dammam, Al-Qassim, Assir, Tabuk and Jazan, covering all parts of the Kingdom with the service. He added that there is a plan to establish control centers in all regions and provinces in the Kingdom, hence, the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Centers General Department is to undertake supervision on the MOH control centers of and units, including curative poisons and medical calibration units, poisons information centers, drug testing units and pre-employment medical screening units at hospitals and regional laboratories in the Kingdom’s regions and provinces. It also draws the public policy of this vital and important sector in the Kingdom and develops strategy to organize and improve the work in all sectors, as well as providing technical consultancies for centers and relevant governmental bodies, such as the Ministry of Interior (MOI), General Directorate of Narcotics Control (GDNC), Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP).
 
 



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