MOH News
Health Minister Inaugurates the 3rd International Conference on Mass Gatherings Medicine
24 October 2017
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides a leading authority in mass gatherings health and management, given the Kingdom's outstanding experience in the field which has been applauded by several international health organizations" stressed the Health Minister, Dr. Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al Rabiah. 

In the inauguration ceremony of the 3rd International Conference on Mass Gatherings Medicine held in Al-Faisal University under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, may Allah protect him, Dr. Al Rabiah added, “I am excited to take part in the inauguration of this blessed event, through which we will explore the latest developments and topics that can help ensure the health and safety of masses worldwide.

“In this regard, Almighty Allah has graced our homeland with an annual honor; serving pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors of the Prophet's Madinah. Our leader have harnessed all human and material resources to ensure these guests' safety and security, through collaborative efforts of all government agencies and departments, including the Ministry of Health (MOH) which provides top-quality health, preventive, therapeutic and ambulatory services to them. In so doing, MOH uses cutting-edge health facilities enhanced with all preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and ambulatory supplies.”, Dr. Al Rabiah said.

In the same vein,  Dr. Al Rabiah stated, "MOH puts pilgrims' preventive aspects as its first priority. Hence, MOH follows up developments and changes in the global health situation in coordination with World Health Organization (WHO) and other international health institutions, including: the international centers for disease control.

MOH and all stakeholders pay most attention to providing leading and outstanding services during Hajj Season, through a clear-cut strategy implement gradually based on the annual plan with its various stages. This Conference is held every two years upon approval and under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. 

The event, also, offers an opportunity to explore the Kingdom’s unique experience during Hajj season; in terms of managing more than three million pilgrims within a limited area and a tight time frame, thus setting a good example, given the Kingdom's outstanding experience in the field which has been applauded by several international health organizations" 

He also said: "This scientific forum is of great importance, since it coincides with the royal decree issued by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz to make public health a policy and a priority in all laws and regulations to combat diseases and ensure their prevention. This will reduce the burden of disease, so that health becomes a priority at all levels. This reflects our leadership's care and attention o citizens' health, and to providing them with health care." 

He also added, “It is also in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 with its integrated strategy of Hajj and Umrah organization, aiming to increase Umrah capacity from 8 million to 15 million performers by 1442H. (2020), followed by a greater step to host 30 million performers by 1452H. (2030).

For MOH, mass gatherings form a high priority strategy in our national endeavors. Accordingly, our major objective is to enhance our collective efforts to make this Islamic ritual health-risk-free, be either communicable or non-communicable diseases. In view of the above, let me reaffirm our commitment to this event's theme:  «From Mass Gatherings Medicine to Mass Gatherings Health: Evolving Perceptions and Practices». This key theme is in harmony with Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine's duties, which can be fulfilled only through solid, persistent and effective participation of all national sectors with both regional and international organizations.”

Then Dr. Al Rabiah concluded saying, “I extend my deep thanks and appreciation to the President of Al-Faisal University, its staff, my colleagues at the Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine and all contributors to the preparation and organization of this conference; wishing all participants all success. I wish also this conference would come up with scientific recommendation to boost all efforts in mass gatherings medicine.”

From his part, the Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Health, Chairman of the Conference's Scientific Committee Dr. Abdullah bin Mufarreh Assiri stated, “Since its inception three years ago, the Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine has achieved great organizational and operational steps in a very short time. This reflects the quality of its scientific and academic outputs. The Center has also secured national, regional and global partnerships, in addition to its key role in health management during Hajj and Umrah, as well as its growing international input in human mass gatherings-related issues. This event brings together 93 speakers from 15 countries across the world, addressing one key theme: «From Mass Gatherings Medicine to Mass Gatherings Health:  Evolving Perceptions and Practices». This Conference has its national and global value, and enjoys optimal momentum drawn by considerable, powerful, effective and sustainable participation of regional and international sectors, organizations and institutions.”

“It is essential to build on our achievements so far towards a more sustainable institutional endeavor, to boost the well-planned national response and proactive readiness, and to develop capacities for mass gatherings incidents which finally foster all related global standards. This conference offers and opportunity for sharing knowledge, initiating partnerships, and most importantly finding new ways to overcome all challenges and setting new dimensions to this vital field. I wish this conference will come up with the desired outcomes, contribute to the future of mass gatherings health, be an opportunity to share knowledge and insights, and to build partnerships and cooperation. I highly appreciate all stakeholders in this event, especially Al-Faisal University, the teams, scientific committees and organizer for their efforts to make thus event successful.”, added Dr. Assiri.

The ceremony had many features, including a documentary on the Global Center for Mass Gatherings Medicine, a tour to the exhibition held alongside the conference with several government exhibitors, in addition to Hajj Tunnel displaying a number of images and presentations on the Center's management of Hajj Season.  Also, the speakers, participating departments and government sectors were honored. Finally, the event was concluded by a tour around King Faisal's historical palace. 

 



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