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Saudi Minister of Health: No Contagious Diseases Registered at this Year’s Hajj | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Saudi Minister of Health announced that no contagious diseases were reported during the 2017 annual Hajj pilgrimage. (SPA)

Mecca – The Saudi Minister of Health announced on Sunday that no contagious diseases were reported during this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage, saying that all the pilgrims were in good health.

Dr. Toufik al-Rabiha said during a press conference from Mina that his ministry had dedicated all of its human and material resources to offer preventative and medical services to the pilgrims.

It has also started to develop health facilities in Mecca, Medina and the holy sites in line with Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to accommodate some 30 million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims in the upcoming years.

Rabiha explained that for this year’s Hajj, the Ministry of Health prepared 25 hospitals and 158 health clinics in Mecca, Medina and the holy sites. It deployed 131,000 health practitioners and inaugurated the Haram Emergency Hospital in Mecca that has a capacity of 50 beds. It also updated 10 medical centers in Arafat and expanded six hospitals rooms to accommodate heat stroke patients. The ministry also intensified its efforts to detect contagious diseases through setting up 15 health centers along Saudi Arabia’s border.

Furthermore, Rabiha revealed that the Health Ministry administered meningitis and polio vaccines to over 700,000 pilgrims. Ministry personnel also carried out field visits, playing a major role in preventing heat stroke and exhaustion among the pilgrims.

The World Health Organization recognized the measures adopted by the Saudi Health Ministry to ensure the safety of the Hajj pilgrims.

Representative of the organization Dr. Ibrahim al-Zik said during the press conference that these measures proved their effectiveness in that no contagious diseases or general health problems were reported at the Hajj this year.