More than 1.3 million medical services provided to pilgrims during Hajj 2024

Kingdom's healthcare system rendered over 465,000 specialised treatment services to pilgrims, says minister

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Muslim pilgrims walk with umbrellas on the third day of the devil stoning ritual, amid extremely hot weather, during the annual haj pilgrimage, in Mina, Saudi Arabia, June 18, 2024. — Reuters 

Saudi Arabia's government has revealed that it provided preventive medical services including early detection, vaccinations, and medical care upon arrival to more than 1.3 million pilgrims, out of the total 1.8 million, who attended Hajj 2024 this year.

Speaking in a media interview, Saudi Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel said that Kingdom's health system provided more than 465,000 specialised treatment services, including 141,000 services to those who didn’t obtain official authorisation to perform Hajj.

The minister further highlighted that their health system addressed numerous cases of heat stress this year, with some individuals still under care.

The achievement, as per the minister, was made possible via coordinated efforts of the health system and the Hajj security forces ensuring no recorded outbreaks of epidemics or widespread diseases.

Al-Jalajel further revealed that the services rendered by the Kingdom also included open-heart surgeries, cardiac catheterisation, dialysis, and emergency care, totalling over 30,000 ambulance services, with 95 air ambulance operations ensuring the delivery of advanced health services in medical cities across the country.

Additionally, around 6,500 beds and rooms were also made available by the country's healthcare system.

Addressing the casualties during this year's pilgrimage, the official acknowledged that 1,301 people lost their lives during Hajj 2024 of which 83% were unauthorised to perform the pilgrimage in the first place and had to walk long distances under direct sunlight, without adequate shelter or comfort.

"May God forgive and have mercy on the deceased. Our heartfelt condolences go to their families. May God accept their deeds and grant them recompense for their suffering," the minister said.

"All reports have been compiled, families of the deceased notified, and identification completed, despite the initial lack of personal information or identification documents. Proper processes were followed for identification, burial, and honouring the deceased, with death certificates provided," he added.