DiplomaticQuarter: US consul general in Dhahran visits Al-Ahsa Dates Festival 2019

The festival aims to develop the concepts of agricultural marketing, quality production and communication between farmers and trader. (SPA)
Updated 07 February 2019
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DiplomaticQuarter: US consul general in Dhahran visits Al-Ahsa Dates Festival 2019

  • Korhonen said that the agricultural attache at the US Embassy in Riyadh will visit Al-Ahsa next week to hold meetings

Rachna Korhonen, the US consul general in Dhahran, has visited Al-Ahsa Dates Festival 2019, organized by Al-Ahsa municipality in partnership with Al-Ahsa Chamber of Commerce. 

She said that she attended the festival last year and noticed a remarkable development this year because the festival has been able to integrate traditions into the events. Korhonen was also shown how thousands of tons of Al-Ahsa dates are made in a variety of molds.

Korhonen said that the agricultural attache at the US Embassy in Riyadh will visit Al-Ahsa next week to hold meetings with businessmen on agricultural development and the possibility of the embassy’s contribution to it.

The US consul general also held a meeting with members of the Al-Ahsa Chamber of Commerce to discuss the possibility of assisting businessmen in the region in exporting Al-Ahsa products to the US.

The delegation included the economic and tourism counselor, Eric William, Commercial Officer Jerry Rand, Cultural Counselor John O’Raco, and Political Adviser at the Consulate Dan Dili.

Al-Ahsa is the largest date-palm oasis in the world, with about 3 million trees spread across 30,000 acres. It is particularly famous for the khalasah date — known in Saudi Arabia as khlas, a word that loosely translates as “quintessential” — which is routinely named in polls as the best date in the world.

Every year, Al-Ahsa hosts a dates festival in an area covering 3,600 square meters, featuring government agencies and companies that grow and sell dates.

The strategic vision of the festival is for Al-Ahsa to become a focal point for the dates industry, by transforming them from simply being an agricultural item to a distinctive product for investment, tourism and the economy.

The festival aims to develop the concepts of agricultural marketing, quality production and communication between farmers and traders.


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.