MOH News
WHO Thanks the Saudi Government, Praises MOH's Expertise in Mass Gathering Medicine
17 October 2013
Message of the WHO Representatives in the Hajj Season of 1434H
 
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you;
At the outset, let me extend my sincere thanks to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to His Excellency the Minister of Health for the warm reception of the delegation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and for giving us the opportunity to have a transparent look over the great efforts undertaken by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in serving pilgrims of all nationalities, through providing the best health services, including the preventive and curative ones, so that the pilgrims can perform the Hajj rites in comfort and contentment.
 
Through the various field visits and interviews carried out by the WHO delegation, it was clear that the Kingdom occupies a distinctive position and pioneer standing in the field of Mass Gathering Medicine over the whole countries of the world. This standing can be attributed to the Kingdom's effective contribution to enriching and updating information and experiences at the global level so as to develop this important branch of medicine.
 
As you all know, such efforts were culminated by the nomination of the Saudi Mass Gathering International Center as an ideal and cooperative center with the World Health Organization, which is considered a clear recognition of the afore-mentioned facts.
The main achievements include:
1. In the Field of Health and Medical Care Provision:
  • Supplying a large number of hospitals at Holy Sites' centers with all modern means of diagnosis and treatment in all medical specialties, including the latest devices used in the cardiac and hepatic operations and tumor treatment, and harnessing such devices to serve pilgrims; that is to be added to the King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah.
  • Equipping a large number of permanent and seasonal health centers at the Holy Sites and providing developed ambulances.
  • Establishing an airstrip in some hospitals to transfer urgent cases.
  • Hiring a large number of the integrated and high-efficiency medical teams and distribution them to the permanent and mobile health facilities and to fields, according to the movements of pilgrims.
  • Relying on the scientific evidences and medical protocols that are based on the latest scientific data in all areas.
2. In the Field of Infectious Diseases Control:
  • Issuing the health requirements to be met by the pilgrims in their preparation for the Hajj season, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and through the embassies of the Kingdom.
  • Launching awareness campaigns and comprehensive preventive measures for those arriving to the Kingdom ports, and to the sacred sites.
  • Developing an integrated network for epidemiological surveillance and rapid check-up of suspicious cases with the use of the latest techniques in sending, combining, and analyzing information in a timely manner through the qualified specialists working throughout the day in the operation rooms containing the latest means of communication and information technology, including the use of digital maps with all hospitals, centers and rapid intervention units.
  • Finding scientific facts based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization and the Saudi Mass Gathering International Center, especially those relating the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). In addition, a comprehensive definition for suspicious cases was adopted and medical, epidemiological and laboratory surveillances were conducted to prevent the outbreak of such viruses.
    Thankfully, the MOH has not recorded any case with Coronavirus till now among pilgrims despite of all such efforts. In this context, we ought to highlight the recommendations issued by the Saudi Mass Gathering International Center, through which it persuaded the endangered pilgrims to postpone their pilgrimage for at least the next year in order to maintain their safety.
  • Hiring rapid intervention field teams to count the number of cases and eliminate the risk factors so as to avoid occurrence of any outbreaks; that is to be added to distributing the teams of water, food, and environment maintenance in coordination with the concerned sectors.
  • MOH's keenness to exploit the opportunity and conduct more studies and researches in collaboration with several partners, in an endeavor to answer some of the questions that have not been resolved yet, such as those relating the novel Coronavirus, or to develop new medical and preventive methods that could raise the yields of the health system in the field of Mass Gathering Medicine and Hajj.
  • MOH's keenness to prepare a detailed and comprehensive assessment for the current Hajj season so as to identify any deficiencies that may have occurred and to take the necessary measures to avoid their recurrence in the future.
At the end, we would like to congratulate the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its Ministry of Health (MOH) for the experiences and capabilities gained in the field of Mass Gathering Medicine, helping them play a leading role in this medical field, and provide high-level health services for pilgrims that help them perform the Hajj rites in comfort; that is to be added to avoiding epidemics and outbreaks, and contributing effectively to the protection of the Islamic countries and the whole world against the possibility of the outbreak of such diseases through the pilgrims returning to their homelands.



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