Riyadh hosts a Franco-German-Saudi photography workshop

WHO chief, Saudi health minister discuss Kingdom’s future role in agency’s programs

RIYADH: Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel recently met with World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Cairo.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 69th Regional Summit of the WHO Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The two sides discussed Saudi Arabia’s future role in the WHO, the support needed to facilitate increased use of artificial intelligence applications in public health, and measures to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Al-Jalajel also met his Egyptian counterpart Khaled Abdel Ghaffar and was able to visit the Egyptian medicine city Gypto Pharma, which was built in record time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Saudi minister’s three-day trip included meetings with his counterparts in Bahrain, Sudan, Jordan and Pakistan, during which bilateral cooperation was discussed as well as mechanisms to address challenges facing public health.

Al-Jalajel detailed the experience of the Saudi Ministry of Health in handling medical emergencies during COVID-19, and the results that can be shared with other Arab countries.

On Monday, the Saudi Ministry of Health and WHO launched a five-day rapid response team training program as part of health emergency preparedness activities.

Forty-two trainees from different health directorates and representatives from all regions of the Kingdom will participate.

WHO has developed a training module, which includes a set of educational materials and guidance tools to help Member States plan, activate and evaluate the training of rapid response teams.

The program aims to strengthen Member States’ preparedness systems, provide the support and guidance needed to implement a sustainable plan and improve the skills of rapid response teams, qualifying them to work as trainers on field.

The training will be interactive and will include lectures and simulations, delivered by personnel accredited by the WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

James R. Rhodes