Mental health services get boost

Updated 03 February 2013
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Mental health services get boost

The Ministry of Health will establish two hospitals for mental health at a cost of SR 680 million, a senior official from the ministry announced here.
The Director of the General Administration of Mental Health and Social Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hamid bin Abdullah Al-Habib, said his department has allocated this budget for two new hospitals for 2013 .
According to Al-Habib, the hospital in Makkah will have 500 beds, while the facility in Al-Baha will have a capacity of 200 beds.
The ministry has expanded its mental health services and its target is to reach a bed capacity of 5,000 when the ongoing projects are completed.
There are currently 2,861 beds in hospitals for mental health, which include 98 psychiatric clinics and three major centers for patients suffering from drug addiction. Furthermore, he added that construction are currently are being carried out in Tabuk for a 200-bed mental health hospital, 200 beds in Najran, 100 beds in Araar.
He said that the total workforce in hospitals and complexes of mental health and psychiatric clinics attached to hospitals is 627 doctors, 406 psychiatrists, 724 social workers and 3,080 nurses. In addition, he said there are 79 primary health care centers (PHCs) and 22 psychiatric clinics in 22 hospitals throughout the Kingdom.
Besides these facilities , Al-Habib said there are 23 centers to treat children who are victims of family violence.
MOH spokesman Dr. Khalid Al-Mirghalani said the ministry is working on doubling the mental health and de-addiction hospitals to treat increasing numbers of patients.
“We are implementing new projects which includes establishing new mental health and de-addiction hospitals in various regions of the Kingdom with the capacity of 200-500 beds per hospital, which will be done soon according to the schedule,” he added.
He said that services offered to mental health patients must be provided as social services to avoid the patients from getting embarrassed when they enter mental health clinics.
“The media must also cooperate by raising the needed awareness to counter misconceptions and introduce mental disorder as a disorder that any person can get by facing some situations as the case with other organic disorders that needs to be treated,” he said.
More than 450 million people suffer from mental disorders in the world. Many more have mental problems. Mental health is an integral part of health; indeed, there is no health without mental health.
Mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders. Mental health is determined by socio-economic, biological and environmental factors. Cost-effective intersectoral strategies and interventions exist to promote mental health.


Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

Updated 56 min 45 sec ago
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Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Italian collaboration to develop electronic defense solutions pushed in workshop organized by the Italian Embassy, KACST and Elettronica SpA
  • Italy's Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare equipment

RIYADH: Italy has pledged to support the Kingdom with electronic warfare and defense electronics, offering a range of state-of-the-art solutions to counter threats. 

The call for Saudi-Italian collaboration was made on Thursday at a workshop organized jointly by the Italian Embassy, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Italian-based Elettronica SpA, a world leader in electronic warfare.

Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom Luca Ferrari welcomed the workshop initiative, and said: “We are working to develop a strategic partnership between our two countries, building on decades of excellent political and economic collaboration.

“Such initiatives increase mutual understanding and knowledge between Italian and Saudi counterparts and foster further opportunities for collaboration.” 

Ferrari added that the workshop is a proof of Italian industries’ and institutes’ willingness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through working with local high-tech university centers and industries in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “The move on the part of the Italian government and our companies comes within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for foreign partnerships to diversify the economy, cut reliance on oil and build a robust Saudi defense sector.”

The workshop, entitled “The Digital Revolution: Impacts on defense electronics, security and life,” looked at electronic warfare, cyber intelligence, the future of autonomous vehicles and implications of the digital revolution for the defense industry. 

Enzo Benigni, Elettronica’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Italian institutes and companies are keen to embrace the Saudi Vision 2030, and to support the growth of the defense industry and overall defense sector of the Kingdom. 

“We work in Saudi Arabia to create high-value cooperation with the Saudi armed forces and local partners with an aim to build a world-class defense sector of the Kingdom.”

Benigni said Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare, from single stand-alone equipment to complete integrated systems, for naval, airborne and ground applications as well as for space and homeland security.