By MAHER ABBAS | ARAB NEWS
Published: Nov 8, 2010 00:38 Updated: Nov 8, 2010 00:38
RIYADH: Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said a highly advanced laboratory system capable of identifying more than 1,000 varieties of viruses and microbes has been set up in Makkah and the holy sites this year.
“The most important feature of the system is that a disease-causing virus will be instantly identified without resorting to the time-consuming process of virus culture and thus the right treatment will be initiated without loss of time,” he said.
The hi-tech system, a first in the Middle East, has been introduced in line with the orders of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to offer the best health services to pilgrims, he added.
Another special feature of this year’s health arrangements for Haj is the recruitment of 135 consultant doctors in rare specializations. “Medical facilities such as units for cardiac catheterization and kidney dialysis will be working round the clock, particularly in the holy sites where millions will be spending the days of Haj,” he added.
Muhammad Khushaim, undersecretary for planning and development at the ministry, said the developmental projects for this year include construction of a SR11million building for emergency treatment at the Hira Hospital with 55 beds in addition to the expansion of the hospital’s ICU.
“Infrastructure at the Al-Nur Hospital has been expanded at the cost of SR120 million in addition to refurbishing the operation theater at the cost of SR40 million. A SR6 million daily treatment unit has been added at the King Abdul Aziz Hospital with a capacity for 26 beds,” Khushaim said.
“The ministry runs 24 hospitals with a total capacity for 4,005 beds for sick pilgrims. While seven hospitals are in Makkah, four are in Mina, three in Arafat and 10 in Madinah,” he said.
He put the total number of health centers for pilgrims at 144 in Makkah and Madinah. Thirty-one are in Makkah and 46 in Arafat, 28 in Mina, six in Muzdalifah, 16 on the Jamrat Bridge, and five in the courtyards of the Grand Mosque in addition to 45 health centers on the roads between Makkah and Jeddah and Makkah and Madinah. There are 17 health centers for pilgrims in Madinah, he said.
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