40,000-strong task force trained to battle infectious diseases

Updated 29 November 2014

40,000-strong task force trained to battle infectious diseases

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has trained 40,000 health officials in infection control during the past four months with the cooperation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said a senior official.
Speaking at a workshop on infection control at the MOH, Undersecretary for Preventive Health, Dr. Abdullah Al-Aseeri said the ministry is implementing a series of programs for infection control to adopt preventive measures to protect patients and staff in the medical sector from infection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome MERS, corona virus and other communicable diseases.
Under this program, Al-Aseeri said his ministry has plans to appoint health inspectors to ensure that the hospitals and clinics have infection control programs within their facilities.
“However, the ministry still lacks qualified personnel to handle infection control. Therefore, we have intensified our program to train more and more people to bridge this gap,” he stressed.
With the cooperation of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS), he said around 418 hospitals in the Kingdom have been accredited to treat MERS corona virus patients in the country.
“We also have plans to coordinate with the Saudi Aramco which has some cooperation with the John Hopkins University to train Saudis in the field of infection control," said the official.
Some 40 Saudi nationals pass out annually with a diploma in infection control he said, pointing out that the level of skills acquired by the graduates are of international standards and they are carried out at par with the standards maintained in reputed hospitals in the US.
He recalled that the ministry in collaboration with the US hospitals was able to bring the best trainers to educate the first batch of students in a fitting manner.
The graduates received their internship in hospitals such as the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh and Jeddah, the King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah, the King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh and the King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam, the undersecretary noted.
“The students were given theoretical and practical training in these health facilities,” he said.
The issue of anti-infection is a major concern in most of the world’s hospitals where patients sometimes develop fatal diseases as a result of bacterial infection.
The diploma graduates are expected to make a useful contribution toward reducing the percentage of wound contamination, transmission of bacteria from person to person and possible inflammation.
In an effort to control infection in the Kingdom, the MERS-CoV Advisory Council was formed by the acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih to develop a set of guidelines to meet the urgent need for up-to-date information and evidence-based recommendations for the safe care of patients with suspected, probable, or confirmed Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.
Tariq A Madani is the chairman of the council.
The main bulk of these guidelines have been adapted from previous guidelines produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The council members have revised these two documents and made important modifications based on the current epidemiological evidence and the members’ clinical experience in Infectious Diseases.


Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.