3 million students to get MMR vaccines

Updated 21 October 2015

3 million students to get MMR vaccines

RIYADH: A national program to immunize three million students against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) began throughout the Kingdom on Sunday.

Deputy Assistant Minister of Health for Preventive Medicine Dr. Abdullah Al-Asiri said the program is being carried out by the ministry in coordination with the Ministry of Education to cover all schools and universities in the Kingdom.
Under the program, Health Ministry officials will visit schools to immunize students.
The MMR vaccines will be given to those aged one to 18 years. The campaign will continue for five weeks. The vaccine will be given in two phases.
Students from government, private and community schools at primary, middle and secondary levels will be covered under this program.
The second phase will cover preschool children from the first year to five years, in addition to students of middle schools, and secondary schools and kindergartens.
Infants below 12 months do not need the vaccine as they derive immunity against measles from birth.
According to reports from the ministry, incidence of measles, rubella and mumps were minimal in the Kingdom. “Only 300 cases are reported annually. This can be fully eradicated with an organized campaign against the diseases,” he said.
Measles is an acute viral contagious disease accompanied with fever, conjunctivitis, cough and red skin ulcers starting on the face and covering all parts of the body from the third to seventh day of infection.
There is no specific antiviral therapy for measles and the basic treatment is necessary supportive therapy such as hydration and antipyretics.
Mumps can cause fever, headaches and swelling of the cheeks and jaw. The swelling is caused by an infection of the salivary glands. Mumps can cause meningitis, an infection of the fluid and lining covering the brain and spinal cord.
Rubella is very dangerous in pregnant women. If a woman gets rubella in the early part of a pregnancy, it is very likely that her baby will die or be severely handicapped. The most common handicaps are blindness, deafness, mental retardation and heart defects.
According to medical opinion, most children will have no side effects following MMR vaccine. It can cause a rash or fever in some children five to 12 days after the vaccination is given. This may last for a few days.

Ancient artifacts a top attraction at Saudi exhibition in Athens

Updated 1 min 48 sec ago

Ancient artifacts a top attraction at Saudi exhibition in Athens

  • “Roads of Arabia” has visited 14 other countries since it was first shown in Paris in 2010
  • Through the exhibition, the Kingdom has been able to share its history and cultural heritage with more than 5 million visitors around the world

ATHENS: The exhibition “Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia” continues to travel the world, opening in Greece on Wednesday, under the patronage of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

The exhibition was originally developed by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where it was first exhibited in 2010. Since then, it has visited 14 other countries before arriving in Greece. “Roads of Arabia” highlights the cultural heritage of the Kingdom and features ancient artifacts from Saudi Arabia.

Greek Minister of Culture Lydia Koniordou opened the 16th edition of “Roads of Arabia” — which will run until May 25 at the Benaki Museum in Athens — in front of an audience including SCTH Chairman Ahmad Al-Khateeb, the Kingdom’s Ambassador to Greece, Esam bin Ibrahim Al-Mal, and a number of officials from both countries.

“Greece has contributed to Western civilization since ancient times, while the Kingdom witnessed the emergence of the Islamic civilization,” Al-Khateeb said at the opening. “Both helped shape the past and present of our world. The relation between Greece and Arabia extends over 3,000 years. This is highlighted in some of the antiquities found in the Kingdom, showcasing the historical and cultural links between Arabia, Greece and Byzantium.

“The Kingdom has always been a crossroads for human civilizations due to its strategic location linking global trade roads,” he continued. “The archaeological discoveries have shown that the Kingdom was a witness to many advanced civilizations since the Stone Age.” 

Al-Khateeb said that, through “Roads of Arabia,” the Kingdom has been able to share its history and cultural heritage with more than 5 million visitors around the world.

“More than 10,000 archaeological sites were discovered in the Kingdom, of which only 400 have been excavated. Just imagine the archaeological wealth (to be) found there,” he added.

As well as examining the 466 rare pieces that comprise the traveling exhibition — dating from the Stone Age to the era of King Abdul Aziz, founder of Saudi Arabia — attendees also toured a “virtual museum” set up by SCTH. 

Meanwhile, working to uncover the past of the Arabian Peninsula, foreign experts have been carrying out archaeological excavations on Farasan Island since 2017. 

So far, a team has revealed 30 sites dating back to pre-Islamic periods, including a number of settlements, animal remains including deer, cows, horses and turtles, and various finds including ancient Arabic inscriptions, and sites dating back to the Roman Empire.

They believe that the future of archaeology in the region is exciting. Experts are aiming to map the entirety of the island’s sites, creating a guide to its historical timeline and development. More local archaeologists, from academics to diggers, are also set for specialized training, to help uncover and preserve some of the Kingdom’s most precious new sites.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Arabian Peninsula was a mystery to Orientalists, but they didn’t want to venture into the desert sands. However, in the late 19th century they came and got to know the lands and the people.

Many sites were registered at that time, especially in the 1970’s, when a comprehensive archaeological survey was done. The results of that time provided a vast list of archaeological sites.