Mina, (Arab News): Ministry of Health’s facilities in Makkah and Madinah performed 16 open-heart surgeries to pilgrim patients as well as hundreds of cardiac catheterization and dialysis sessions during Haj.
Ten women gave birth in the ministry’s hospitals.
About 360,000 pilgrims visited health care facilities in the two cities and the holy sites during the last 40 days, of which more than 2,000 were hospitalized and most of them were discharged.
Arafat hospitals and outpatient clinics received more than 9,000 pilgrims.
The Ministry and Tawafa organizations provided translators at Makkah and holy sites health facilities and also utilized doctors who speak other languages. The ministry also warned pilgrims from using used blades for hair-cutting and called on them to follow its Haj-performance instructions.
Record distribution of sacrificial meat The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) expects to achieve a new record in the utilization of sacrificial meat this Haj season, which has exceeded that of the previous year.
The expected increase is attributed to the completion of the new slaughterhouses in the holy sites and the increasing demand of pilgrims to carry out the offering of Hadi and Alfadi (important Haj rituals) through the bank.
The slaughterhouses of the IDB-run “Saudi Project for the Utilization of Haj Meat” began receiving pilgrims who want to complete their Haj rituals on Tuesday morning.
The Kingdom has spent more than SR2 billion on the project including the building of huge, modern slaughterhouses in the Al-Muaisam area where about 40,000 butchers, technicians and workers are employed alongside a number of veterinarians and scholars who examine the animals before the sacrifice.
The Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques entrusted the management of the Project to the Islamic Development Bank which has received more than 16 million animals since its inception in 1982.
It utilized the meat of 63,000 sacrificial animals in that year alone and distributed it among the poor in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Sudan and Yemen.
Last year, nearly 1 million sheep were slaughtered and their meat distributed to the deserving in the Kingdom and in 19 other countries. The bank set the price for one sacrificial sheep at SR490 this year.
1.98 million Haj pilgrims this year More than 1.98 million pilgrims performed Haj this year, 37 percent fewer than last year, according to the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI).
There were 600,000 domestic pilgrims, mostly non-Saudis. The CDSI based its statistics on the counting of pilgrims at six Makkah entrances — Sail Road, Madinah Road, Jeddah Road, South Road, Taif Road and the old Makkah-Jeddah Road.
It said that 88 percent of domestic pilgrims arrived in Makkah on Dhul Hijjah 7, 8 and 9 (Oct. 12, 13 and 14).