Saudi Arabia Assures 2011 “Hajj” Pilgrims
With only a few weeks to the commencement of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, (Hajj) to the Holy Land of Mecca, health authorities say they have completed preparations for this year’s Hajj season. (Photo: Alhaji Jalloh, Information Attache, Saudia Arabia)
In a press statement issued over the weekend, Director of Jeddah Health Affairs, Dr. Sami Badawood pointed out that disease-detection equipment has been installed at the health centers of King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Jeddah Islamic Port.
“Rapid medical intervention teams have also been deployed to deal with emergencies. The centers are equipped with all the necessary medical tools including a modern X-ray system. The X-ray machines have been installed to help detect diseases early,” he says.
He adds that: “We have supplied the centers with all kinds of medicines and vaccines. About 579 male and female employees from various parts of the Kingdom are working at the centers round-the-clock.”
Dr. Badawood disclosed that all health centers at the entry points of the Kingdom’s by land and sea as well as hospitals in the holy sites have been provided with a large stock of drugs and vaccines.
Abdul Ghani Al-Maliki, Director of the Health Center at King Abdul Aziz International Airport, also pointed out that a specialized team will inspect planes coming from countries infected with dengue, rift valley fever and plague.
“The team will review the health certificates of passengers to see what vaccinations they have had and check to ensure that planes have been sterilized with anti-infectious diseases drugs,” he reiterates.
Meanwhile, the Sierra Leone embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Friday, 7th October, 2011, hosted its nationals based in Riyadh to a Strategic Planning Meeting for this year’s would –be- Sierra Leonean pilgrims, expected to arrive at the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Medina in the in the next few days.
Explaining why the embassy convened the meeting, the Acting Head of Chancery, Mr. Eric B. Gamanga says one of the roles of an embassy is to cater for the welfare of its citizens and that all Sierra Leoneans have a social responsibility to help their fellow citizens practice their religious rites.
“We have put in place mechanisms to assist our pilgrims and to ensure their safety and comfort from the day of their arrival to the day of their departure,” the Acting Head of Chancery says on behalf of the Head of Mission.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam, which able-bodied Muslims must perform at least once in their life time, if they can afford it.
According to statistics available with the Saudi Hajj Ministry, over 3,000,000 pilgrims from 85 countries converge on Makkah – the holiest place in Islam – every year, to take part in events which combine piety and passion.
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