KSRelief, UNICEF to vaccinate 1.14 million Yemeni children

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King Salman Relief team in Yemen. (SPA)
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King Salman Relief team in Yemen. (SPA)
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King Salman Relief team in Yemen. (SPA)
Updated 09 July 2019

KSRelief, UNICEF to vaccinate 1.14 million Yemeni children

  • The vaccination program will be carried out across Yemen at a cost of $4.775 million
  • A cold room and a warehouse are currently being constructed in Aden and Sanaa

RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and UNICEF have signed an agreement to extend a children’s vaccination program in Yemen.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Moallem, head of health and environmental aid at KSRelief, told Arab News that the agreement would last for a six-month period. “The project aims to immunize 1.14 million Yemeni children within six months. It will be implemented in all parts of Yemen at a total cost of $4.775 million,” he said.

“KSRelief will also establish a central maintenance and repair workshop very soon, while a cold room and a warehouse are currently being constructed in Aden and Sanaa,” he added.

Al-Moallem noted that 75 percent of the program had already been completed, by vaccinating children under the age of one with the Pentavalent vaccine, which provides protection from several life-threatening diseases including diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and influenza B.


  • KSRelief will establish a central maintenance and repair workshop.
  • The program will be carried out at fixed and mobile sites.
  • The program will provide 70 solar-powered refrigerators.

The agreement was signed by KSRelief’s Assistant Supervisor General of Operations and Programs Ahmed Al-Baiz and UNICEF Representative Eltayeb Adam at the center’s headquarters in Riyadh.

The renewed program will include improving immunization services provided at fixed and mobile sites for basic vaccinations against nine preventable diseases, as well as measles and rubella inoculations. The funding will also provide for the supply of vaccines and the transportation of supplies.

The program will provide 70 solar-powered refrigerators, three cold rooms, and seven sets of equipment for solar refrigerators. It will train 2,000 health workers on implementing immunization programs, and will facilitate 600 field visits with the distribution of brochures and health education lectures. 

Adam noted that the program would contribute to the wider health of Yemeni children, and thanked KSRelief for its work and generous financial support.

Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

Updated 20 July 2019

Saudis recall history’s greatest TV event: Apollo moon landing

  • The TV images beamed from 320,000km away in space left viewers astounded but happy
  • The TV coverage influenced thinking and attitudes in the Kingdom just like everywhere else

DUBAI: It was a sleepy afternoon in Saudi Arabia, just days before the end of the school vacation, and Saudis had their eyes glued to their TV sets as they waited for live coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Before July 20, 1969, the idea of a human walking on the moon was the stuff of science fiction. However, almost overnight, sci-fi had turned into reality with a live broadcast showing American astronaut Neil Armstrong’s dramatic descent onto the empty lunar landscape.

Between science fiction and science fact, the live coverage of the lunar landing amounted to an unusual fusion of news and entertainment.

Saudi TV technicians bring the first live images of Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing to
viewers around the Kingdom. (Supplied photo)

The historic images — beamed back to Earth more than 320,000 km away — left Saudi viewers astounded and confused, but mostly elated to be witnessing such an epoch-making event.

The event was covered live on television and radio stations in Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis and residents living in the Kingdom watched it on Saudi channels 1 and 3, owned by Saudi Aramco.

Hessah Al-Sobaie, a housewife from Al-Dawadmi, recalled watching the moon landing from her grandparents’ backyard as an 11-year-old.

“It felt weird watching a human walk on the moon,” she told Arab News. “I remember the endless questions I asked as a child.”

While most people were aware that going to the moon was risky, many Saudis believed that such a journey was impossible and all but unthinkable.


1. NASA’s Apollo 11 mission control room in Houston has been restored to its 1969 condition and regular tours
will be conducted by the Johnson Space Center.

2. NASA ‘Science Live’ will have a special edition on July 23 on board the aircraft carrier that recovered the Apollo 11 capsule.

3. A summer moon festival and family street fair will be held in Wapakoneta, Ohio, from July 17-20.

4. Downtown Houston’s Discovery green will host a free public screening of the ‘Apollo 11’ documentary, with an appearance by NASA astronaut Steve Bowen.

5. Amateur radio operators will host a series of events on July 20-21.

6. The US Space and Rocket Center is staging a special ‘Rockets on Parade’ exhibition.

The Apollo 11 mission prompted discussions across the Middle East over the reality of what people saw on their TV screens. Some Saudi scholars found it hard to believe their eyes.

“I watched it, and I clearly remember each and every detail of the coverage,” Hayat Al-Bokhari, 68, a retired school principal in Jeddah, said.

“My father, Abdul, was 56 at the time. He said the landing was faked. He couldn’t believe or accept that a human could go to the moon.”

Khaled Almasud, 70, a retired university lecturer, was a student in the US state of Oregon at the time of the mission. “Americans were stunned and over the moon, happy with their national achievement. But many Saudis like me were either in denial or insisting on more proof.”

Since the beginning of the 1960s, King Faisal had been rapidly transforming Saudi Arabia, inviting foreign-trained experts to help build a modern country with world-class infrastructure.

Billie Tanner, now 90, lived in the Kingdom for many years with her husband, Larry, and their two children, Laurie and Scott, aged six and four. The family had just arrived in Saudi Arabia and headed to the Aramco compound in Ras Tanura in the Eastern Province.

A screengrab of video of the first lunar landing beamed toward Earth and shown on television worldwide. 

“We were going through a culture shock,” she told Arab News. “I wasn’t thinking of the moon landing, but we heard about it on the news from Dhahran.

“My kids tried to see the astronauts on the moon with their binoculars and said they could see them walking around.”

The Apollo 11 spaceflight has become a milestone in the annals of human history and science. Since 1969 space exploration has greatly expanded man’s knowledge of the universe, far beyond Earth’s limits.

The captivating live coverage of the moon landing inspired millions of people around the world, profoundly influencing their thinking and attitudes.

The people of Saudi Arabia were no exception.