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Saudi Arabia

SR12m cash injection to keep Hajis in good health

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has allocated SR12 million for stocking up on medicine for the treatment of Haj pilgrims in Makkah and Madinah, according to a top official.
Yacoub Al-Mazroa, undersecretary for supplies and engineering affairs, said his department was ready to get emergency patients admitted to hospitals after administration of first aid. Special arrangements have been made to treat pilgrims who suffer from sunstroke. Chilled rooms and blankets are kept ready to treat such patients in mobile medical units, he said.
Huge quantities of medicine and vaccines have been stocked up to meet demand, he said, adding that vaccination against meningitis was mandatory for all pilgrims. Vaccination should be administered 10 days before departure and is only active for a period of three years.
He said meningitis might spread during the Haj season, causing outbreaks, especially from pilgrims coming from endemic areas. The vaccine is given to adults and children over the age of two and is not administered on pregnant women.
As authorities finalized Haj preparations, Maj. Gen. Saad Al-Kholaiwi, commander of Haj Security Forces, warned that expatriates attempting to perform Haj without a mandatory permit will be deported immediately. He was addressing a press conference at Mina’s security headquarters.

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