MOH News

NHEOC Accredited as First Center to Collaborate with WHO
12 October 2021

HE the Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, announced the accreditation of the National Health Emergency Operations Center (NHEOC) in the Kingdom as the first center collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the field in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. The accreditation highlights the effective role of the center in building national and regional capabilities in this vital area. It is also deemed an extension of the ministry's efforts and qualitative initiatives. In so doing, NHEOC realizes the Saudi Vision 2030, especially Goal 3: reducing health risks.

He stressed that this accreditation is a valuable addition to the collaborative network of WHO in its various fields, including disaster management and health emergencies. The accreditation is the result of efforts and effective communication with WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and ongoing cooperation in various aspects over a period of two years within the fields of emergency management and health disasters. The Saudi leadership has been supportive throughout the process, helping reach this achievement which will continue over the coming years.

NHEOC is the operating and control room for the implementation and follow-up of the tasks MOH has been undertaking to manage crises and disasters stipulated in the bylaws and regulations. It also serves as the official, swift link between MOH and other relevant government agencies, such as:  the Red Crescent Authority and the Department of Civil Defense. 

The Center is also the point of connection with the health affairs directorates in all Kingdom regions linked to all hospitals, healthcare centers and other health sectors, both public and private. The Center oversees, monitors, and follows up all health incidents that affect the health of individuals, and may cause collective losses. Such incidents might be epidemic outbreaks, fire accidents or human accidents. 

Besides, the Center monitors the performance of hospitals as well as the regional health directorates they report to. If the need arises to invoke a higher level of support, the Center intervenes to manage the crisis, and orchestrate governmental communication in an effort to contain the consequences of that incident. The role of NHEOC is not limited to addressing and managing crises when they take place. 
More importantly, it seeks to define their causes, and makes every effort to prevent their recurrence. This proactive role is at the heart of the Center’s mission. It conducts a periodic survey of risks, both inside and outside health facilities, at the regional level. Thereupon, it analyzes their causes, drafts periodic reports, and prepares action plans meant to prevent the recurrence of disasters due to those causes, in addition to getting ready to address the consequences beforehand.

With its 20 branches throughout the Kingdom’s regions (a branch at each regional health directorate), NHEOC welcomes direct communication. Each regional NHEOC branch oversees the public and private hospitals located in that region, and how it addresses the incidents that may occur therein. The incident shall be escalated to the Center if there arises the need for support.

Noteworthy, over the past two years, the center has sent more than 12,000 messages, more than 1,000 reports, and supervised more than 1,100 various exercises and hypotheses, in addition to creating more than 20 data models, and over 25 specialized analytical panels. Many training programs are also implemented locally and regionally, bringing the number of beneficiaries to more than 250 trainees in the field of health crises and disasters at advanced and specialized levels, with cadres in various health and administrative specialties.

Last Update : 13 October 2021 08:44 AM
Reading times :