MOH News
MOH Examines 11168 Vehicle Drivers during the Hajj Season
13 October 2013
Within the framework of the “Yaqez” Program adopted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Makkah and Madinah regions, all the vehicle drivers working in the 1434-Hajj season have subjected to the illicit drug tests.
 
A number of 11168 drivers were examined yesterday, 66 out of them were totally excluded after having positive results.
 
The Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Supportive Medical Services, and Supervisor of laboratories, nursing and nutrition during Hajj, Dr. Munirah bent Hemdan al-Esseimi, has affirmed that the Vehicle Drivers Examination Committee will start working, pursuant to the directives of His Royal Highness the Prince of Makkah, with two phases; the first phase is to start from 1/11/1434H (corresponding to 7/9/2013) to 29/11/1434H (corresponding to 5/10/2013), while the second phase will be from 12/12/1434H (corresponding to 17/10/2013) to 15/1/1435H (18/11/2013), for all involved bodies within the Committee.
 
Dr. al- Esseimi added that the Committee tasks will be supervised and implemented by the Ministry of Health (MOH), and Makkah Health Affairs Directorate, represented by the Poison Control and Forensic Medicine Chemistry Center in Makkah, in cooperation with the drug control officials in the Holy City (Makkah), the branch of the Ministry of Hajj in Makkah, the General Syndicate of Cars, and the superintendent of the pilgrims' transportation in Makkah region.
 
Speaking of the locations and working mechanisms of the Committee, Dr. al- Esseimi highlighted that Al-Jomum Grouping Center (40th km on the Makkah-Madinah Road) will start its tasks with two phases; the first phase is to start from 1/11/1434H (corresponding to 7/9/2013) to 29/11/1434H (corresponding to 5/10/2013), while the second phase will be from 12/12/1434H (corresponding to 17/10/2013) to 15/1/1435H (18/11/2013).
 
“The Makkah Health Affairs Directorate has prepared a permanent place for the center, holding a number of specialists, technicians, and the latest equipments for the detection of drugs and psychotropic substances,” Dr. al- Esseimi noted.
 
Meanwhile, Dr. al- Esseimi reported that the Center conducts the necessary tests using the modern and fast techniques; to ensure the safe work of vehicles, pointing out that the results appear in a period not exceeding three minutes. If the sample is positive for any banned substances, stimulants or sedatives, the vehicle driver is excluded and prevented from completing the trip. In addition, Dr. al-Esseimi highlighted that these tests are preliminary, waiting for the
 
confirmation of the Poison Control and Forensic Medicine Chemistry Center in Makkah. However, she noted that the vehicle driver is replaced by another one to be hired by each company to exist in the site, so that he can ensure the safety of the trip.
 
Dr. al-Esseimi also noted that the Committee visits the headquarters of pilgrim-transporting companies and shuttle-bus services, where random samples are taken from drivers in the headquarters of transport companies in Al-Shemaisy, Bahra, and Al-Tanaieem, and the rest of the sites amounting to (18) sites of transport companies. In addition, Dr. al-Esseimi underscored that the Committee visits also the stations of shuttle-bus services and the airport terminals and takes random samples from drivers on several stages, adding that the random examination starts from the first of Dhu al-Qa'dah till the end of Dhu al-Hijjah in the company headquarters with the participation of a number of specialists and technicians.
 
Within the same vein, Dr. al-Esseimi revealed that the Committee starts working in Al-Shemaisy and Al-Nawariah Guidance Centers as of 1/11/1434H (corresponding to 7/9/2013) to 8/12/1434H (corresponding to 13/10/2013), under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, and the Makkah Health Affairs Directorate, represented by the Poison Control and Forensic Medicine Chemistry Center in Makkah, and in cooperation with the drug control officials in the Holy City (Makkah), the branch of the Ministry of Hajj in Makkah, and the superintendent of the pilgrims' transportation.
 
As such, a temporary place has been prepared at the Bus-Guiding Health Center in Al-Nawariah, and it has been staffed by a number of specialists and technicians to take the samples and conduct the required analyses through modern, fast technologies within a period of not more than 3 minutes.
 
Dr. al-Esseimi added that the Poison Control and Forensic Medicine Chemistry Center in Makkah implements an awareness program for the vehicle drivers in the company’s headquarters on the stimulant harm and the health and social effects resulting from them, as well as the Saudi laws in this regard.
 



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