Saudi, Bahraini Customs discuss cooperation

The meeting in Riyadh was attended by customs officials from the Kingdom and Bahrain.
Updated 26 March 2019

Saudi, Bahraini Customs discuss cooperation

Saudi Customs officials and their Bahraini counterpart held their third bilateral meeting in Riyadh recently.

The gathering was headed by Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Hakbani, governor of the General Customs Authority of Saudi Arabia, and Ahmed bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, president of Bahrain Customs. The meeting, attended by customs officials from the Kingdom and Bahrain, aimed to enhance mutual cooperation and coordination between the two countries. 

Al-Hakbani said: “This meeting comes in line with the constantly developing relationship, shared vision and common objectives between the two neighboring countries.” He said the objective of the bilateral meeting is to enhance communication and coordination between the Saudi and Bahraini customs departments in order to consolidate efforts, strengthen cooperation, overcome obstacles and find mutual solutions.

Al-Hakbani said the targeted integrated work between the customs bodies of the two countries will enhance intra-regional trade through coordinated and sustainable customs procedures.

In his speech, Al-Khalifa highlighted the importance of the meeting in achieving “bilateral economic integration through the implementation of customs procedures that facilitate trade and accomplish mutual goals.”

The meeting addressed many customs-related topics, including the issue of the joint border checkpoint.

Furthermore, deliberations included setting common processes to coordinate with the World Customs Organization (WCO), implementing the link of the comprehensive customs tariff by the Bahraini Customs, and linking the Saudi and Bahraini border systems. The meeting also addressed the implementation of the detailed mutual recognition plan for the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs in both the countries.

Amongst the important security-related subjects that were discussed, was the proposed plan for the security team and exchange of information, which was approved and agreed upon during the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, both parties agreed on the importance of continuous coordination to achieve the Saudi and Bahraini customs objectives.

Robotic-assisted surgery at JHAH a first for Kingdom

Updated 23 June 2019

Robotic-assisted surgery at JHAH a first for Kingdom

Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH) has become the first hospital in Saudi Arabia to perform a robotic-assisted hysterectomy using fluorescent dye.

“The precision achieved through the use of robotic-assisted surgery has multiple benefits for patients,” said Dr. Turky Al-Rujaib, JHAH gynecologic oncologist, who along with Dr. Fahad Al-Mulhim, gynecologist, performed the procedure for endometrial cancer. “Women whose hysterectomies are robotic-assisted surgeries have less pain and blood loss, shorter hospital stays, require fewer narcotics and recover more quickly.”

JHAH’s robotic surgery program began in December 2016 when Dr. Tareq M. Al-Tartir, JHAH sub-specialist surgeon, and his team collaborated with Dr. Mohamad Allaf, professor of urology, oncology and biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHSoM) and director of minimally invasive urology, and his team. They jointly conducted the first surgeries in the Kingdom using the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system. The program has since expanded and includes gynecological surgeries and bariatric surgery.

“This successful operation could not have been done without the support of the JHAH robotic team,” said Dr. Al-Mulhim. “We are pleased to report the patient is recovering well. This is a tremendous achievement that going forward will improve the outcomes for many of our patients here at JHAH.”

The robot’s “hands” have a high degree of dexterity, allowing surgeons the ability to operate in very tight spaces, for example the pelvis, that would otherwise only be accessible through open surgery with long incisions. Life after surgery is improved with this technique as there is minimal scarring, fewer postoperative complications and often a faster return to normal activities. 

JHAH is the result of a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, a world leader in energy, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of the world’s leading academic health systems. This health care organization is designed to drive and enhance the well-being of the community in an environment of growth and learning, by providing innovative, integrated and patient-centered care to Saudi Aramco’s employees and health care beneficiaries.