Indonesia, Saudi Arabia prioritize health of elderly pilgrims

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Health Minister Nila Moeloek and her Saudi Arabian counterpart Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabiah have agreed to prioritize the health of prospective Indonesian elderly hajj pilgrims.

"Prioritizing the health of hajj and umrah pilgrims in Indonesia is very important for the smooth implementation of the hajj pilgrimage," Tawfiq stated in a press release received here on Wednesday.

Moeloek met Tawfiq at the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the follow-up of the memorandum of understanding that had been established during the visit of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia in March 2017 in Indonesia.

Moeloek asked the Saudi government to give more attention to the prospective Indonesian pilgrims, who increased to 221 thousand people in 2017, especially the prospective hajj pilgrims who are at high risk of health problems.

Tawfiq promised to provide special attention to the Indonesian elderly hajj pilgrims and sought the list of names of pilgrims, especially the elderly.

He also improved the health services for Indonesian pilgrims during the 2017 hajj pilgrimage season of 1438 Hijriah by preparing hospitals in Medina and Mecca, as well as a system of central control and orders to monitor the health of the pilgrims.

In addition, the Saudi Arabian government also prepared a guidebook on healthcare for the pilgrims.

The governments of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have agreed on the importance of efforts to improve cooperation in health services both during the preparatory period of the pilgrims in Indonesia and the hajj and umrah pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia.(*)

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