Ghani lays groundwork for Saudi-funded hospital

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 01 July 2018
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Ghani lays groundwork for Saudi-funded hospital

  • Saudi Arabia pays for the maternity section, which has 200 beds
  • Afghans annually spend over $300 million on medical treatment, mostly in India

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Sunday laid the foundation of a 1,000-bed hospital complex which is partly sponsored by Saudi Arabia in the eastern city of Jalalabad.
The mega-project — the first of its kind in the country’s history — will be completed in two years, and will offer treatment to patients with disabilities and those suffering from tuberculosis.
The $200 million hospital complex will also include a maternity center.
“Various donors cover the cost of the complex. Saudi Arabia pays for the maternity section, which has 200 beds,” Dr. Najibullah Kamawal, head of the public health department of Jalalabad city, told Arab News after the inauguration of the complex.
Kamawal said the Kingdom’s role in building part of the complex was its first major help to the Ghani administration, which is seeking to establish closer ties with the Gulf nations.
Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the province’s governor, said the completion of the complex will drastically reduce the need for Afghans to travel abroad for medical treatment.
Afghans annually spend over $300 million on medical treatment, mostly in India, according to officials.
Hours after Ghani’s visit to Jalalabad, a suicide bomber killed several people outside the governor’s office in the heart of the city.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Earlier in the day, Ghani met with government officials in the governor’s office. It was not clear if the attack was linked with his visit.


Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Updated 22 January 2019
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Saudi Aramco recognized as a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco’s Uthmaniyah Gas Plant (UGP) has been recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a “Lighthouse” manufacturing facility and a leader in technology applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
Saudi Aramco is the first energy company globally to be included in this select group of manufacturing sites. The plant is also the only facility in the Middle East to be recognized by WEF. 
The announcement was made ahead of WEFs annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
The gas plant is one of the world’s largest gas processing plants and was commissioned in 1981 as part of Saudi Aramco’s Master Gas System to process associated gas from oil wells. 
The use of drones and wearable technologies to inspect pipelines and machinery has helped cut inspection time by 90% in this industrial facility.
“The recognition of the Uthmaniyah Gas Plant demonstrates Saudi Aramco’s shift to transform and adapt in the rapidly changing global energy landscape. Uthmaniyah is only one part of our large integrated energy value chain where IR 4.0 technologies are playing a critical role to enable significant capital and operational efficiencies,” said Amin H. Nasser, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco.
The seven new facilities join nine other “Manufacturing Lighthouses” which WEF unveiled in September 2018. The 16 factories were selected from an initial list of 1,000 manufacturers based on their successful implementation of cutting-edge technologies of the future that drive financial and operational impact.
The “Lighthouse” program was conducted by WEF in collaboration with McKinsey during a year-long study. A study team visited UGP in Saudi Arabia and performed a thorough audit.