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Health Ministry readies 80 PHCs, seven hospitals in holy sites


Published: Oct 3, 2011 23:54 Updated: Oct 3, 2011 23:54

RIYADH: The Ministry of Health announced on Monday that 80 primary health care centers in Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah are ready to receive pilgrims during Haj.

“We have updated the facilities at these PHCs and now they are ready for operation,” Ahmed Al-Baiz, head of the operations and maintenance of the health care centers in the holy cities, said on Monday.

The centers include 28 in Mina, 46 in Arafat and six in Muzdalifah. Besides these clinics, he said, there are seven hospitals — three in Arafat and four in Mina.

Al-Baiz also said that another hospital with a capacity of 236 beds is being constructed in Arafat. It will include 50 beds in the intensive care unit and 28 in the emergency ward. The hospital will be opened for Haj next year, he noted.

The official said every year the Ministry of Health has been upgrading facilities and services.

“According to the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, we are dedicated to providing the best of services to the guests of Allah.”

According to Health Ministry spokesman Khalid Al-Mirghalani, the ministry has printed a large quantity of brochures in English and Arabic to be distributed among the pilgrims.

This literature will inform pilgrims of the health guidelines they have to follow during their stay in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. In addition to these brochures, the ministry will also distribute leaflets containing illustrated information on what the pilgrims should and should not do during their stay in the holy cities.

This year, the official said, the ministry is focusing on food poisoning. Pilgrims have been asked not to keep their cooked food for more than two hours to avoid food poisoning. They have also been requested to wash fruit and green leaves before consumption. Meat and vegetables should not be washed together when preparing to cook.

Personal hygiene, and hygienic cooking, storing, transporting and serving methods are important to avoid diarrhea and vomiting, food poisoning, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

Hands should be washed before eating. Disposal shaving kits should be used.

Wearing masks made of cloth during various Haj activities will be very useful in preventing respiratory infections such as colds, coughs, sore throats and pneumonia.

Covering the face with a towel while sleeping in congested rooms also helps prevent respiratory infections.

Diagnosed cases of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, migraine, epilepsy, skin diseases, psychiatric illnesses and gastric ulcer should be properly controlled with appropriate treatment.