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Conference tackles disease management during Haj

HEALTH SAFEGUARDS: Participants view a presentation on infectious diseases at the conference in Riyadh. (AN photo)

By Shahzeen Eram / 4 Sep 2013

A five-day conference on measures for “Prevention and Management of Common Diseases during Haj” commenced at a hotel in Riyadh on Sunday under the Ministry of Health.

Ahmed Usman, an MOH doctor who presented lectures on the day, said “The conference aims to emphasize the role of health care providers in the Kingdom in effective implementation of measures to combat diseases during Haj. We provide interactive sessions that can serve to train doctors.”

The initiative will be conducted in three phases. Yearly preparations are carried out in the first phase at the end of Haj. During the conference, a study was presented on notifying and reporting infectious diseases.

The second day of lectures will discuss the significance of “vector-borne diseases, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, outbreak investigation and management and group work for effective procedures.”

Follow-up discussions on subsequent days will elaborate on the surveillance of influenza, meningitis and other common diseases, including the recent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, the MERS coronavirus.

“Though there are provisions for administering vaccinations at international airports and other points of entry under the Ministry of Health, we advise Haj pilgrims to get their vaccinations administered at home before coming for Haj, as immunization takes time to kick in,"said Tanweer Alam, a doctor at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, who also attended the awareness program.

The conference, which will see a huge turnout of doctors representing Ministry of Health hospitals, private hospitals and international airports including King Khalid International Airport, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Fahd International Airport in Dammam and Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Airport Madinah, will continue until Thursday.


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