Together we can fight epidemics, says expert

Together we can fight epidemics, says expert

Abu Dhabi - The event seeks to raise awareness of healthcare professionals in the field of infection prevention and equip attendees with global best practices.



By Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 31 Oct 2019, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Fri 1 Nov 2019, 12:54 AM

Nations are spending billions of dollars on infectious diseases like Ebola, Zika, bird flu and others and that there is need for global preparedness to prevent such epidemics, a top health official has said.
Speaking at the third International Conference on Prevention and Control of Infection in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, Professor Ziad Memish, Deputy Minister of Health and Public Health in Saudi Arabia, said during mass gatherings like Haj and Umrah and sports activities, it takes a lot of time and money to prepare to handle the healthcare of millions of people coming from different parts of the world.
The event, held under the theme; 'innovate, prevent and save lives', seeks to raise awareness of healthcare professionals in the field of infection prevention and equip attendees with global best practices.
During his discussion on Public Health Preparedness for emerging infections during mass gathering, Memish said: "Infectious diseases like Ebola, bird flu and others cost governments billions of dollars."
A report published in 2018 showed that the Ebola epidemic in West African countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which resulted in more cases and deaths than all previous outbreaks combined, cost approximately $53.19 billion.
"During Haj and Umrah, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health always pass important information to all pilgrims on what to do, including mandatory vaccinations before coming for pilgrimage," Memish said. "The ministry recommends all pilgrims to update their vaccination status against vaccine-preventable diseases."
The three-day meeting has attracted about 800 participants from across the world.
Dr Gareth Goodier, group chief executive at Seha, said: "Simple good hand hygiene practice and immunisation can help reduce the spread of infections, protecting not only our patients, but also ourselves, our families and those around us.
"Breakthrough innovations are also contributing to the prevention and control of infections."
He added: "Infection prevention is everyone's business. We need to work together on infection control as we strive to make breakthrough innovations in infection prevention that is necessary to keep our patients safe."

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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