PAC medical team to head for Philippines

Updated 16 November 2013
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PAC medical team to head for Philippines

Physicians Across Continents (PAC), the non-government organization affiliated to the Muslim World League (MWL), plans to send a medical team to the Philippines to help the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.
The typhoon hit the provinces of Leyte, Iloilo and Cebu nine days ago causing many deaths and widespread destruction of property.
“The medical contingent will leave as soon as possible depending on the recommendations of a three-member exploratory team which left for the Philippines last Tuesday,” Saad Al-Garni, the PAC’s general secretary and a vascular surgeon, told Arab News on Friday.
The PAC has 400 doctors in the Saudi capital, while about 600 are based in London, Niger, Sudan and Turkey.
Al-Garni said he spoke Thursday to members of the exploratory team who were in Cebu City. The team has found it difficult to travel to Tacloban City due to security reasons and because many of the affected areas are still inaccessible.
“The team will assess the situation from Cebu City and if it’s possible, the PAC will send a six-member team that includes five doctors and one administrative worker.” Al-Garni said the medical team would work with local physicians and other foreign medical volunteers such as Doctors Without Borders.
“The team will stay there for 10 days and if their services are needed after that, we will recruit doctors locally or from other neighboring countries,” he said.
Doctors from the PAC visited Ezzedin H. Tago, the Philippine ambassador, on Monday to inform him about the plan. The Filipino envoy updated them on the extent of the typhoon’s devastation and provided pointers on coordinating their medical relief with Philippine agencies.
The ambassador also provided the group with the most recent adviseries from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on the typhoon’s aftermath.
Tacloban City was the hardest-hit by the typhoon with survivors having nothing to eat. Many have resorted to looting businesses and malls to survive. Others have called for government help.
“Please pity us. We have nothing more to eat. We may have survived the typhoon but we will die of starvation unless help arrives soon,” said a harried Glen Don from the village of Candahug in Palo, Leyte, against the backdrop of a virtual ghost town.
The Philippine government has deployed all its agencies to provide rescue operations and the delivery of food supplies. President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino lll has thanked the world community for helping the survivors, many of whom have left the city on military planes or buses hired by relatives in Manila.


Saudi Civil Defense makes Kingdom safer place to live

Updated 29 min 41 sec ago
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Saudi Civil Defense makes Kingdom safer place to live

JEDDAH: Collaboration between Saudi universities, research centers and the country’s Civil Defense is helping to make the Kingdom a safer place to live.
Col. Abdul Aziz Al-Zahrani, the general director of the Jeddah department of Civil Defense, said “strong” cooperation on safety and civil protection matters was a vital part of risk management work taking place in the Kingdom.
Speaking during a press conference to announce details of next month’s Intersec Saudi Arabia 2019 trade fair for the security, safety, and fire protection sector, Al-Zahrani said the General Directorate of Civil Defense had spent many productive years sharing knowledge with Saudi education and research institutions.
He said research data helped in producing risk assessments and finding solutions to natural, industrial and domestic safety issues. “The Civil Defense takes advantage of these studies to help keep people and properties safe.”
Al-Zahrani added: “Take me for instance. I am a graduate of King Abdul Aziz University where I obtained my Ph.D. in geological and environmental engineering. I have worked on risk assessment on the coast of the Makkah region. We were able to produce geological maps that helped to locate risky, low-risk and safe areas.”
The third edition of the Intersec exhibition will take place on April 14-16 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events with more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries expected to attend.
The event aims to offer a platform to network, create and strengthen partnerships, share information, and keep up to date with the latest innovations driving the regional and global security, safety, and fire protection industries.
Organized by Messe Frankfurt-Middle East and Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) and supported by the General Directorate of Civil Defense along with other international government partners, trade associations, and non-profit institutions, Intersec will bring together key regulators, government authorities, solution providers and end-users to discuss strategies and collaborative approaches for security, safety and fire protection in the region.
The trade event will cover product groups including commercial security, information security, perimeter and physical security, homeland security and policing, fire and rescue, and health and safety.
Al-Zahrani said great strides had been taken in Saudi Arabia to protect the public from the dangers posed by unsafe appliances, and the Civil Defense had also increased the efficiency and effectiveness of fire and rescue services.