Saudi Health Ministry ready to ensure disease-free Hajj

JEDDAH: The health of incoming pilgrims will be monitored at 14 ports of entry to the Kingdom via land, sea, and air during this Hajj season.

The Ministry of Health said that it has set a number of health requirements to prevent diseases coming into the country, maintain health security and provide preventive and curative services during the Hajj season.

An integrated system of health control centers is being set up at the ports of entry, which will be completed before the beginning of the Hajj season.

The ministry is keen to raise health awareness for pilgrims and their families upon their arrival in the Kingdom with awareness initiatives. It will distribute leaflets and broadcast awareness programs on screens in the halls in languages such as Urdu, French and English, among others.

Officials said that entry point health services were the first line of defense for Hajj. Health experts will also take precautionary measures in accordance with global developments and international health regulations that apply to those coming to Hajj, their luggage and transport.

Medical services will be provided at Jeddah Islamic Port, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah, Prince Abdul Mohsin bin Abdulaziz Airport in Yanbu, Taif International Airport, Al-Batha Port, Empty Quarter Port, Salwa Port, King Fahd Causeway, Al-Raqa’i Port, Jdeidet Arar Port, Al-Haditha Port, Halat Ammar Port, and Al-Wadiah Port.

The centers will be staffed at all times, stocked with medical supplies such as vaccines and equipped with isolation rooms and ambulances to transport sick cases to hospital.

Food brought in by pilgrims will also be inspected by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and the Customs Authority.

The Health Ministry will record the number of incomers, and report preventive measures applied in their countries of origin and at the ports through the Health Electronic Surveillance Network.

The ministry also provides other preventive services including vaccines for the target countries and preventive treatment for those coming from the African meningitis belt.

Officials at the ministry will coordinate with international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, and ensure that all pilgrims receive the necessary immunizations before traveling.

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