Saudi Arabia Health Ministry gets ready for Haj

Makkah: Preparations for the forthcoming Haj will focus on security, safety and the control of infectious diseases in Makkah and Madinah, according to a senior official from the Ministry of Health.

Mohammed Khoshaim, deputy health minister for Planning and Development, who chaired the third meeting of the Haj preparatory committee, said that preparations for the upcoming season are being made in line with the vision of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah set up the Haj preparatory committees for Makkah and Madinah for the forthcoming season in December.

The ministry treated some 1.25 million pilgrims in the two holy cities during the last Haj season. They included 4,015 inpatient pilgrims, 459 cardiac catheterization operations, 22 open-heart surgeries, 1,624 dialysis sessions and 106 endoscopy operations, Arab News reported today.

The meeting reviewed several topics on the agenda and discussed future plans for existing projects for this year’s pilgrimage and assessed the condition of medical apparatus to be used.

The Haj Central Department within the Ministry of Health will coordinate with the preparatory committee for arrangements this year.

The official explained that the functions of the committee would be subdivided into three sections for planning arrangements, preparatory work and supervision of the Haj health related issues.

The committee will also be responsible for taking preventive measures against contagious diseases and for drawing up a contingency plan for the Haj season in Makkah and Madinah.

The directors-general of the two regions will be directly in charge of local Haj arrangements under the overall supervision of the health minister.

The primary purpose of the committee will be to provide adequate manpower for health services and ensure that health facilities for pilgrims in hospitals, clinics and dispensaries are well maintained.