“The Kuwait Medical Team to be deployed to Makkah during the Hajj is all set and we have already done the necessary health orientation for over 6,000 pilgrims from Kuwait to take all extra precaution amid the health scare caused by the cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV),“ disclosed on Wednesday Dr Hamad Al-Hamad, the head of the Ibrahim Marafie Clinic Centre and over-all in-charge of the Kuwait Medical Team to Makkah.
Speaking to the Arab Times, Dr Al- Hamad who has been heading the Kuwait Ministry of Health medical team for Hajj for two consecutive years now, explained that since 1950s, Kuwait has been sending a medical team to Makkah during the Hajj season to provide medical services not only to pilgrims from Kuwait but also to pilgrims from other countries.
“We serve all the pilgrims in Makkah regardless of nationality, age and gender and Kuwait is one of the pioneer countries to do this,” he pointed out.
The medical truck from Kuwait bringing eight new beds, medical supplies, equipment and gadgets has already arrived in Makkah on Sunday together with the other medical staff while Dr Al- Hamad will be flying to Saudi with the rest of the medical team this Friday. He informed that his team has embarked on a massive information campaign to educate the pilgrims on health issues especially on the prevention of contracting the MERS-CoV.
“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illnesses in humans and animals. In people, Coronaviruses can cause illnesses ranging in severity from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS),” he explained.
He added that they have distributed flyers and brochures on MERS-CoV to the pilgrims outlining its causes, symptoms and prevention. The Ministry of Health also got the mobile phone numbers of all pilgrims from Kuwait and has started sending text messages, giving them health reminders during the Hajj. Rollup banners were also placed at the airport and some malls.I like the idea of texting all the pilgrims, whether with reminders or warnings. It's likely more effective than the flyers and brochures.