Mideast Zika-free zone, but vulnerable: WHO

Updated 09 February 2016
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Mideast Zika-free zone, but vulnerable: WHO

RIYADH: The Eastern Mediterranean Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday announced that the region is considered a Zika virus-free zone.

Dr. Alaa Alwan, the regional director of EMRO, said that it does not mean that Middle Eastern countries are not vulnerable to the mosquito-borne disease. “The presence of mosquitoes in a number of countries in the Middle East goes for the possibility.”
However, WHO is closely working with regional ministries of health to curb mosquitoes and strengthen disease-monitoring mechanisms.
Faisal Al-Zahrani, spokesman of the Ministry of Health (MoH), told Arab News that a special type of mosquito carries the Zika virus. “Mosquitoes in Jazan spread the Rift Valley fever, while those in Jeddah spread dengue, which have been successfully brought under control,” he said, adding that the environment in these two regions are not conducive for such mosquitoes.
“We do not have swamps where such mosquitoes can breed,” he said.
Al- Zahrani said the carrier of the disease, Aedes aegypti mosquito, usually bites in the early morning hours and during sunset.
Noting that the signs and symptoms are similar to infections with viruses such as Rift Valley fever and dengue, he said symptoms include fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pains, malaise and headache.
Currently, he said there is an incidence of the virus in Latin American countries.
However, he added that the MoH has taken preventive methods to keep the virus out of the Kingdom. “We have alerted the quarantine departments at the Kingdom’s land, sea and air gateways to monitor passengers who come into the Kingdom.”
Al-Zahrani said the MoH has already taken possible preventive measures against the virus. “We have instructed aviation authorities to spray disinfectants in aircraft that are likely to carry germs because of the passengers from endemic countries,” he said.
The MoH is also coordinating with local authorities to take all preventive measures in all parts of the Kingdom, especially in places which are home to mosquitoes.


TheFace: Aghareed Abduljawad, supply chain director at Globe Group

Updated 50 min 32 sec ago
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TheFace: Aghareed Abduljawad, supply chain director at Globe Group

  • Aghareed Abduljawad is also the finance director at Abduljawad Holding Co.

It is a great honor for me to be featured in this space, not only to be representing the young women of society but also to be able to share my personal background story.

I am privileged to have been brought up in a home where both my parents did not discriminate between genders but rather promoted equality and equal opportunity and education among me and my siblings.

This shaped me into becoming the eager, persistent, determined, and some would even say competitive, person that I am.

My father has always been a role model for me in business. A well-rounded global engineer by education, a successful businessman by virtue, but more importantly he is my father.

He taught me always to remain strong, fearless, and brave but gave me all the opportunities to be successful by earning it rather than receiving it. This somehow constitutes the core of our business values at Globe Group.

Similar to every family business, boardroom discussions always somehow find themselves at the center of the dinner table, but this is where we can count on my wonderful mother to intervene.

As a graduate in English literature, she brings the arts and cultural side to our family which is always a nice break when we’re constantly thinking of how to grow a successful third-generation business. She is the motivation behind the enhancement of my language skills (truly capturing Arabic, French and English languages) and the hobbies we enjoy (such as playing the piano).

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University in 2014 and currently hold the position of supply chain director at Globe Group, as well as finance director at Abduljawad Holding Co.

Abduljawad Holding is the investment arm of our business conglomerate, Globe Group. Globe is one of the most established logistics and transportation companies in the region and was founded by my late grandfather Fareed Abduljawad in 1976.

My journey at Globe started very early in my teens, when I enjoyed spending time with my father at the office and learning the trade. I realized with age that no matter how much corporate governance we tried to follow in the company, our code of ethics was very similar to values we were taught at home.

Nothing is given to you on a plate; you need to work hard and earn every merit. Globe is a company that was here before I was born, and we want to ensure it is around for the next generation, stronger and more successful than ever.

Because of our family nature, we tend also to treat our employees as family and end up being one big family running an operation. This goes back to how I was brought up with my siblings; we are much stronger as a team than as one.

Who do I aspire to be? An established, global and successful businesswoman leading the family name and business for the next generation to come, hopefully one day as the CFO.