Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

From left: Nishanta Jayatilake, Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe and Hasitha De Alwis at the press briefing in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Updated 23 July 2016
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Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

RIYADH: Sri Lankan tea fulfils the specifications of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), a visiting island official, who was leading a delegation to the capital, said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, Hasitha De Alwis, director of international promotions at the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told media that the SFDA told the visiting delegation that Sri Lankan tea is of high quality and it meets the specifications of both the SFDA and the Gulf Standards Organization.
The delegation met with the senior officials of the SFDA here on Tuesday. He said that the Kingdom imports some 36,000 metric tons of tea, which includes 5,000 tons from Sri Lanka. The major share of the Kingdom’s tea requirements are supplied by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Jebel Ali Free Zone, he added. The other members of the delegation included Nishanta Jayatilake, Sri Lanka Tea Board director for analytical services, and Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe, director of the Tea Research Institute in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s major tea market includes Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and now China is an emerging market, he noted.
Sri Lankan tea, known for generations as Ceylon Tea, carries behind it a heritage and success story like no other. A product that began as a diversification experiment in 1867, spanning just 19 acres of land, has today surpassed all geographical borders to satisfy 19 percent of global demand. Reputed for its tea’s signature taste and aroma, Sri Lanka has become the world’s third largest tea exporter to the world, the country’s largest employer, and has the distinction of supplying tea to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Ceylon Tea is also the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues, a fact confirmed by the ISO technical committee. Sri Lanka was also the first to achieve the “Ozone Friendly Tea” label recognized under the Montreal Protocol Treaty and is the proud owner of the first Ethical Tea Brand of the World recognized by the United Nations Global Compact.
Far from being just a scenic wonder, the panoramic tea gardens of Sri Lanka provide a countless number of blends and single garden teas of premium value. Most are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet, which span the lush mountains of the central highlands and the fertile plains of the southern inland areas of the island. Sri Lankan tea possesses unique and specific characteristics of quality and taste attributed to geographical origin and unique manufacturing practices.
Tourists and export markets alike have access to famous unorthodox variants and health beverages from Sri Lanka such as green tea, instant tea, bio tea and flavored tea.
With the development of Sri Lankan tea exports, Green Tea has acquired a commanding position in the global market. Currently, Sri Lanka exports Green Tea to more than 40 countries. The major buyers are United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation and Jordan.


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.