Hajj pilgrim medical teams follow Health Ministry guidelines

Hajj pilgrim medical teams follow Health Ministry guidelines
Medical missions accompanying Hajj pilgrims from overseas countries are required to follow guidelines from the Saudi Ministry of Health. (SPA file photo)
Updated 18 July 2019

Hajj pilgrim medical teams follow Health Ministry guidelines

Hajj pilgrim medical teams follow Health Ministry guidelines
  • Teams should have a valid medical waste contract with a certified local company that covers the Hajj season

RIYADH: Medical missions accompanying Hajj pilgrims from overseas countries are following Ministry of Health guidelines, according to officials.

The ministry has issued guidelines saying that it requires the teams accompanying pilgrims to comply with technical requirements that include the mission having at least one physician per 1,000 pilgrims and at least 20 percent of the physicians in the medical mission having public health qualifications.

Teams should have a valid medical waste contract with a certified local company that covers the Hajj season, their clinics should include at least one infectious diseases isolation room that meets Health Ministry standards and the medical mission should commit to reporting notifiable infectious diseases to the Saudi health system using approved reporting methods.

Indonesia is sending the largest number of Muslims on Hajj and this year 231,000 Indonesians will visit.

Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Eka Jusup Singka, director of the Hajj Health Center, Ministry of Health, Indonesia, said: “We are following these guidelines.”

“We have a team of 308 health officers that include specialist doctors, general physicians, sanitarian and health promotion staff,” he said.

He added that 231 members of the team are doctors and the rest include pharmacists, paramedics and support staff.

Singka told Arab News that they have clinics in Makkah, Madinah and mobile teams at the airports. “We have brought medicines from Indonesia,” he said.

Asked about having a valid medical waste contract with a certified local company, he said: “Yes, we have arrangements with the local company.”

Regarding clinics including at least one infectious diseases isolation room, Singka said: “We have an infection room, and make such arrangements every year. Our clinics have been inspected by the MoH officials in Makkah and Madinah.”

“We are very happy for all their assistance,” he said. “If there are cases of infectious disease we immediately refer them to the local Saudi hospital for laboratory examination and advance medication.”

“We are very happy with the support from the Saudi health ministry,” he said.

Noor Rahman Sheikh, consul general of India, told Arab News: “We have a team of 638 delegates that include specialist doctors, general physicians and support staff.”

Of the total staff, there are 170 doctors, 185 paramedics and 283 administrative staff supporting the mission. “The government of India sends medicines and we follow the ministry guidelines as required,” he said.

Saudi Arabia last month increased India’s Hajj quota from 170,000 to 200,000, paving the way for 30,000 more pilgrims to visit for the annual event.


First phase Saudi Arabia’s ‘Pulse of Alkhobar’ project launched

First phase Saudi Arabia’s ‘Pulse of Alkhobar’ project launched
Updated 22 January 2021

First phase Saudi Arabia’s ‘Pulse of Alkhobar’ project launched

First phase Saudi Arabia’s ‘Pulse of Alkhobar’ project launched
  • The project will help define the region’s culture and enhance its position as a tourist destination

RIYADH: The first phase of the “Pulse of Alkhobar” project has been launched as part of plans to develop an integrated cultural center in the heart of the city and transform the Eastern Province’s arts scene.
The project follows calls by architecture experts, social media activists and artists for a collaboration across multiple sectors to strengthen the province’s cultural impact.
According to Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abudllah bin Farhan, the project, centered on the site of the city’s old market, is the fruit of a partnership between the ministry and its municipal and rural affairs counterpart.
Acting Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Majid Al-Hogail said that the project will build an artistic and heritage destination that will improve the lives of residents of Alkhobar governorate as well as visitors to the Eastern Province.
The project will help define the region’s culture and enhance its position as a tourist destination, he added.
Abdulhadi Al-Shammari, the province’s municipal chairman, told Arab News that the new project will also improve services at municipal facilities, while preserving Saudi heritage and culture.
The project introduces tourists and visitors to the culture of the province, and highlights Al-Olaya district as the center of the city’s culture and arts activities.
Al-Shammari said that the project will boost the city’s finances, driving sustainable development and growth as well an improvement in quality of life.
“It will create new investment opportunities for the private sector, and encourage small and medium-scale enterprises, which have an excellent and effective social impact,” he said.
Al-Shammari added: “The Saudi government supports all sectors to help them deliver lucrative investment opportunities and build a conducive environment for local and foreign investment, where new job opportunities are created for young men and women.”
Faisal Al-Fadl, secretary-general of the Saudi Green Building Forum, told Arab News that creating a cultural and arts destination that is open to a range of activities will add to the city’s tourist appeal.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The ‘Pulse of Alkhobar’ project follows calls by architecture experts, social media activists and artists for a collaboration across multiple sectors to strengthen the province’s cultural impact.

• According to Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abudllah bin Farhan, the project, centered on the site of the city’s old market, is the fruit of a partnership between the ministry and its municipal and rural affairs counterpart.

“Cooperation between the public sector and international organizations, as well as professional organizations, archaeologists and the public, is instrumental in preserving the cultural and architectural heritage of neighborhoods and cities,” he said.
Al-Fadl added that the collaboration between the two ministries reflects “the importance of architectural and cultural heritage, and the tangible and unique archaeological importance of the buildings as a key element in the history of peoples and relationships inside and outside the Arabian Peninsula.”
He thanked both ministries for their efforts.
Arafat Al-Majed, a Qatif Muncipal Council member, said the partnership is a step forward that falls in line with agreements concluded as part of Vision 2030.
“The agreement will increase interest in cultural heritage and the buildings and towns whose profound and ancient history should be brought out to the world to see and enjoy,” she told Arab News. “The agreement will also improve the urban landscape.”
She said that the joint committee should have branches in municipalities around the Kingdom in order to shed light on heritage sites that can be included in UNESCO. “The Kingdom is rich in such heritage sites.”
Al-Majed said that the project will introduce today’s generation to the ancient heritage of the province in a way that encourages investment opportunities.
“Nobody can deny the fact that some municipalities are still hesitant about what to do with heritage buildings and towns since some of these are abandoned or about to collapse. These municipalities want to tear them down. But these are historical treasures that should be preserved and invested in to become an important economic driver, and a source of arts and culture,” she added.
Maysoon Abu Baker, a Saudi poet and columnist, said the Saudi government attaches great importance to culture and heritage.
“Vision 2030 emphasized the significance of the culture existent in old cities,” she told Arab News.
“Arts, culture and heritage are at the top of the agenda for developing cities and preserving their culture. The cultural impact is important for the future of the Kingdom and is related to its history.”
Yousef Al-Harbi, director of Culture and Arts Society in Dammam, said that the partnership will lead to “new visual perceptions highlighting the Saudi, Arabian and Islamic identity.”
He highlighted the importance of nurturing Saudi art and architectural talent, and facilitating cooperation in order to “bring out the beauty of Saudi heritage and cities.”