MAKKAH: The head of Saudi Arabia’s international aid charity has warned that great strides made in eradicating diseases such as polio could be undone unless the world comes together to meet new challenges health challenges.
Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, told a polio program donor conference in Berlin that a world without virus infection was getting ever closer.
But he said exceptional efforts were needed to share the burden with United Nations organizations to help them deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the current global food crisis.
Representing the Kingdom at the conference, he pointed to failures in providing affected areas with needed vaccines, a situation he said could reverse decades of achievements.
Al-Rabeeah noted that the Kingdom is keen to fulfill its humanitarian responsibilities in the fight against measles and poliomyelitis, adding that through the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the Organization World Health Organization and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Saudi Arabia had made contributions totaling $57,666,667. .
He said the country has also implemented projects worth $15 million worldwide to fight against measles and poliomyelitis, including relief programs totaling $11,140,090. dollars.
In partnership with WHO and UNICEF, Al-Rabeeah said the Kingdom has signed two agreements to carry out prevention and response projects to the measles and polio epidemic in high-risk countries, at a cost of $10 million.
And he highlighted the country’s and KSrelief’s continued support for international efforts to eradicate polio.
Dr. Ghada Al-Ghunaim, a board member of the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue, told conference delegates that Saudi Arabia continues to play a leading international role in various political, economic and scientists.
She said: “This is part of the responsibility and commitments the Kingdom has made regionally and globally and the central role it plays.
“Today, through the International Assistance Platform, Saudi Arabia is announcing the disbursement of more than $83 billion in various development and humanitarian projects.”
She stressed that the Kingdom’s involvement in the fight against poliomyelitis was a natural result of its work at the national level to eliminate the disease.
Al-Ghunaim noted that this has been achieved, “thanks to intensive awareness programs over the years, by activating vaccination programs and taking into account all the precautionary measures with those who come for Hajj and Umrah. , with the participation of several organizations within the Kingdom”.
She added that the Kingdom was able to share its experiences and provide financial support to polio efforts in other countries.
Dr Lamia Al-Ibrahim, a family medicine consultant specializing in public health and health systems management, said Saudi aid would continue.
“Proof of this is the enormous financial budgets that the Kingdom offers in the health sector, serving visitors and residents. Internationally, the Kingdom’s efforts are clear to help with nutrition, livelihoods, vaccinations and the eradication of epidemics,” she added.
Consultant medical physicist and former director of Makkah Maternity and Children’s Hospital, Dr Anas Abdel Hamid Sedayo, said the world owes a debt of gratitude to the Saudi leadership for their humanitarian role in the fight against epidemics, infectious diseases, poliomyelitis and measles.
He added that children’s hospitals in Saudi Arabia played an important role in providing vaccines against the disease.