MOH News
The Kingdom's Distinction, its Experience on the Mass Gathering Medicine Draws the WHO's Admiration
16 October 2013
Thanks to distinction and cumulative experience on the Mass Gathering Medicine, and ever-readiness; the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva, cannot help but highlight the Kingdom's efforts on the front page of its website through integrated media report.
Thus, the WHO commended the health services delivered by the Kingdom's Government, represented by the Ministry of Health (MOH) for the Hajj performers.
On a report released today and posted via its official website on the internet, the World Health Organization (WHO) hailed the health services provided for the Hajj performers as "the inclusive, fully fledged health system", affirming that the Saudi Arabia faced and overcame an epic challenge in relation to the health care as it accommodates for millions of Hajj performers within a short span.
On its report posted for the first time on its main front page, the WHO remarks "it is expected that from two to three million Hajj performers are to visit the Holy Sites in Makkah and Madinah; in order to perform the Hajj rites, a pillar all the well-to-do Muslims are to perform at least once in their lifetime. And this is considered as great challenge; namely, with regard to the health care."
The report went on to add that" the Hajj pillar harks back to the 7th century AD, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia possesses decades-long of experience in terms of receiving  huge numbers of Hajj performers the world over.
And that preparation for Hajj season starts by considering the lessons learnt from the previous Hajj season.
Within the same vein, the report reviewed the health efforts made in the last year's Hajj season: "in the last year alone, as close as 273 thousand Hajj performers benefitted from the servicesdelivered by the Kingdom's Government, represented by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
And as usual, the entire services are complimentary, even the most demanding and costly services such as open heart operations, cardiovascular diseases, dialysis, and sunstrokes; all these require demanding medical interventions during the Hajj season."
As regards this year's Hajj season, the report underlined that 22,500 general practitioners were recruited, pointing out that they came from all over the Kingdom; in order to work as part of self-contained, inclusive system in 25 hospitals, and to be in charge of 5250 beds and 141 health centers located in three of the Holy Sites. Similarly, the Mina Emergency Hospital was specifically establishedfor serving the Hajj performers, due to its remarkable location; and its closeness to the Holy Capital, Jamaraat Bridge, and Arafat. It only operates during the Hajj days and shuts down during the rest of the year.
It includes 190 beds, and treats from 10 thousand to 12 thousand cases during the Hajj season. In this year, sophisticated medical equipment was provided.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Government initiated the field medicine, materialized in 130 ambulances which are relentless, mobile therapeutic units. Each is staffed by a physician and a nurse, and is equipped with the latest technical medical devices.
In addition, all these ambulances are to be harnessed in highly crowded areas."
The report went on to emphasize that for the fourth running year, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) extend an invitation to the World Health Organization (WHO); in order to draw on its technical support during the Hajj season.
And as a result of this cooperation, and the Kingdom's experience in terms of dealing with the religious, sporting, and cultural gatherings and so forth, called by the WHO mass gatherings; it identified and recognized the Saudi Center for Mass Gathering Medicine as an accredited and cooperative center; in order to have other countries draw on this expertise.
The report concluded with shining light on the medical, educational activities, pointing out that the MOH designated toll-free telephone number in order that the Hajj performers can directly communicate with physicians and answer their questions, along with handing out printed materials in ten languages to the Hajj performers and mass media.

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