People with HIV launch anti-stigma campaign

Updated 07 March 2015
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People with HIV launch anti-stigma campaign

Several people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have launched a campaign to counter the stigma around the illness still prevalent in parts of the Kingdom.
They want the public to treat those infected with HIV just as they would people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure, according to a recent report in a local publication.
Mohammad Mannsi, who has HIV, has set up an account on a social networking site to create awareness about the disease. Over the past four years he has been working with fellow HIV sufferers, doctors and other members of the public.
Mannsi has been helping those infected by providing support and advice, which include urging them to take life-saving medication as prescribed by their doctors, and to undergo regular checkups.
Mannsi said that people living with the illness are more confident about participating in community activities. However, there was still a great deal of fear-mongering taking place, with some people trying to create the impression that Islam forbids discussions on the illness.
He said people living with HIV have the right to get treatment, support and advice from doctors and other health professionals.
Batoul Suleiman, a doctor who specializes in HIV treatment, said even some doctors discriminate against those living with the virus. Some refuse to provide any sort of treatment for those who disclose they are infected.
According to the Ministry of Health, there were 1,777 people identified with AIDS in the country last year, of whom 542 were Saudis.
There has been an increase in cases, which would eventually affect the country’s economic growth, the ministry said.


126,000 pilgrims from Bangladesh will perform Hajj 2018

Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2018
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126,000 pilgrims from Bangladesh will perform Hajj 2018

  • Bangladeshi pilgrims were in a good condition and everything, from accommodation to treatment, was going well

DHAKA: The last Hajj flights from Bangladesh will leave for Saudi Arabia this morning.
About 125,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims have already reached the holy city Makkah, on special flights operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines
(Saudia).
The two operators will take the last batch of 1,400 pilgrims from Hazarat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, after which the Hajj flights will be closed until Aug. 27.
The Bangladesh government has made extensive efforts to cooperate with the Kingdom in arranging travel plans for pilgrims, said officials in Dhaka.
“Our Ministry of Religious Affairs is highly concerned about the well-being of the pilgrims,” Saiful Islam, director of the Hajj Office in Dhaka, told Arab News.
“About 250 Bangladesh officials, including the staff of the Bangladesh mission in Saudi Arabia, have been deployed at places that the pilgrims will visit while performing the rituals of Hajj,” he told Arab News.
Most of the staff of the Religious Affairs Ministry have been sent to Saudi Arabia to assist Bangladeshi pilgrims and provide them with emergency support, Islam said.
“Three medical camps have been established in Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah with 30 doctors and nurses to cater to pilgrims’ medical needs. In case of emergency, arrangements have been made to move a pilgrim in critical condition to specialized local hospitals,” he added.
“This year, so far, everything is under control and running very smoothly,” said M. Shahadat Hossain Taslim, secretary-general of the Hajj Agencies Association of Banglaesh (HAAB).
Speaking to Arab News from Makkah, Taslim expressed his gratitude to the Hajj Ministry of Saudi Arabia for its “better Hajj management this year.”
“Last year, many Bangladeshi pilgrims faced difficulty due to lack of transport in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah,” he said. “But this year, we have addressed the issue well ahead of time and are not facing any problem in this regard.”
Bangladeshi pilgrims were in a good condition and everything, from accommodation to treatment, was going well, he added.
A total of 126,000 pilgrims from Bangladesh will perform Hajj this year.
The Hajj flights from Bangladesh to Saudi Arabia will be closed after Friday and resume on Aug. 27 to bring the pilgrims back home.