Arab News – The Ministry of Health (MoH) provided health services to more than 340,000 pilgrims during this Haj season.

According to an MoH official, a total of 60,769 pilgrims were treated at various hospitals, primary health care centers and clinics on a single day, Sept. 12, in Makkah, Madinah, and Taif, and at the holy sites such as Mina, Muzdalifah, Arafat and the Jamrat area.
These facilities have received, on Sept. 11 (Dul Hijjah 9), 48,575 pilgrims and provided them with all health services.
During the period from Aug. 4 to Sept. 12, the total number of patients registered was 342,105 pilgrims.
The recorded cases included admission of 2,939 pilgrims, kidney dialysis for 1,682 patients, 27 pilgrims who underwent open heart surgery, 306 cardiac catheterizations, in addition to 13,786 emergency and 72 sunstroke cases, one child birth and 17 patients who underwent endoscopic procedures.
This year, the Ministry of Health focused on the prevention of infectious diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Zika virus.
Besides these diseases, the official said that the ministry was also careful in observing any sign for diseases such as cerebral spinal fever, meningitis, yellow fever and polio among the incoming pilgrims.
He added that as a preventive measure, the ministry was mostly concentrating on educating pilgrims on personal hygiene, such as drinking bottled water, washing their hands with soap especially after coughing or sneezing, using disposable shaving razors, abstaining from eating exposed food, and requesting pilgrims to stay out of the scorching sun at noon to avoid sunstroke.
He added that ministry officials also distributed a packet of literature and brochures concerning personal hygiene to each family to advise pilgrims on the precautionary measures to be taken during their stay in the holy cities. He said that the ministry took every effort to provide a safe and secured Haj for local and foreign pilgrims.
“The ministry carefully implemented a series of health education programs among the pilgrims to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the holy areas,” he noted.
Last week, Minister of Health Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announced that the Haj this year was free from epidemic and diseases that would require quarantine.

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