News
Inspection of Hajj Health Facilities for Prevention of Infections
17 October 2013  
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has inspected all its health facilities working in the pilgrimage season of this year through biological and chemical indicators to ensure their protection against infection.
 
In addition, the MOH has examined all small autoclaves available in the primary health care centers in Mina and Arafat.
 
The Director General of MOH Health Facilities Infection Control and Head of the Hajj Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases and Infection Control, Dr. Abdullah Esseiri, pointed out that the Committee makes rounds to the health facilities before each Hajj season; to inspect preparation for infection control and to test all autoclaves, including the hospitals and health care centers in the Holy Sites.
 
According to Dr. Esseiri, the Committee was formed ten years ago, coinciding with the outbreak of the rift valley fever, and continued annually with two sections. A section for infectious diseases and another section for infection control within the health facilities.
 
In addition, Dr. Esseiri highlighted that the Committee is usually formed of consultants in infectious diseases from within and outside the Ministry, as well as specialists in infection control, most of them are affiliating to MOH's Health Affairs Directorates and to the Infection Control General Department.
 
As for the tasks of the Committee, Dr. Esseiri noted that the Committee reviews the Hajj reports at the end of each pilgrimage season, and then it seeks to overcome the problems related to the infectious diseases and infection control during the Hajj season, in preparation for the next pilgrimage season.
 
Speaking of the tasks of the Committee in connection with infection control, Dr. Esseiri said that the work starts with providing the required supplies, including the substances used in hand disinfection, surgical tools sterilization, and hospital disinfection, noting that teams have been formed to identify the number of human resources needed by the hospitals of Makkah, Madinah, and the Holy Sites, as well as the other substances that must be available during the pilgrimage season in these hospitals, taking into account the increasing number of hospital visitors during the pilgrimage season.
 
Within the same vein, Dr. Esseiri explained that there is a team within the Committee's Infection Control Section which is specialized in central sterilization of health facilities, noting that the task of this team is to make sure that sterilization equipments and sections are fully ready to receive cases, and also that experienced staff have been delegated to work in these sections.
 
Moreover, Dr. Esseiri revealed that the MOH has launched a project three years ago to isolate the patients with infectious diseases in health facilities where there are no isolation rooms, through providing mobile isolation devices, noting that such devices are installed during the pilgrimage season.
 
After the pilgrimage season, they are used again in other hospitals. It is noteworthy that these devices are just tents made in a certain way to purify the air by 100% within the rooms comprising patients with infectious diseases.
 
Dr. Esseiri further highlighted that the Committee provides more than 34 health supplies that help control infection in the health facilities, adding that such supplies include wound disinfectants, central catheter disinfectants, as well as certain types of urinary catheters, and certain substances to prevent blood infections, along with other supplies related to infection control.
 
Talking about the most prominent achievements of the Committee during this year and past years, Dr. Esseiri said that the MOH witnesses continuous development thankfully, giving example of the sufficient substances of infection control in all Holy Sites' hospitals, as well as allocation of a consultant in infection control to each hospital in Makkah, Madinah, and the Holy Sites.
 
In conclusion, Dr. Esseiri highlighted that the task of this consultant is to survey up to 40 diseases with an epidemic nature, such as, meningitis, al-Khurma fever, and viral infections, such as Coronavirus and influenza. During this year, the Ministry has focused largely on the novel Coronavirus due to its epidemic importance. Now, it has become possible to examine the suspected cases and obtain the result in a record time of not more than six hours from any nearby laboratory such as the laboratory in Mina Al-Wadi Hospital in Mina, and Jeddah Regional Laboratory.
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