Cabinet approves National Center for Disease Control

The Council of Ministers Monday approved setting up of a National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.



JEDDAH –—The Council of Ministers Monday approved setting up of a National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

The Cabinet, chaired by Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, also decided to create five medals of honor carrying the names of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the late kings – Saud, Faisal, Khaled and Fahad.

Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session that the Cabinet reviewed the minutes of the Supreme Committee for Administrative Organization with regard to setting up of the National Disease Control Center and approved its establishment within the organizational structure of the Ministry of Health. The center will be directly linked to the Minister of Health or his deputy, and the ministry will extend to it the material support besides making available necessary staff. The center would be supportive in containing infectious and non-infectious diseases, and would work on monitoring, following-up and preventing their spread. 

Dr. Khoja said that the center is tasked to conduct researches, studies and practical scientific experiments to further boost the Kingdom’s health sector and prevent communicable and non-communicable diseases.

It will also monitor and follow-up such diseases at the national and international levels and create a database of its own.

The minister noted that the center would also support and facilitate implementing national policies and strategies aimed at promoting health and controlling infectious and non-infectious diseases in addition to facilitating coordination among the concerned authorities in their implementation.

The center is also tasked to prepare necessary plans and strategies for immediate intervention in cases of epidemics and disasters. It will cooperate with similar centers and the concerned agencies within the Kingdom and abroad in the field of health promotion as well as in the control of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Another major decision of the Cabinet was to institute five medals of honor, each in three grades, and they will be named after King Abdullah and his four predecessors. The Cabinet examined the updated Saudi Medals Law in this regard and approved it. According to the law, each medal will be awarded, in specific fields, on the occasion of the National Day every year.

The ministries, other governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations can nominate their candidates to these medals.

Dr. Khoja said the executive bylaw of the new law will be duly approved by the Cabinet on the basis of a recommendation from the Royal Protocol Chief, and the bylaw will contain features of the medals, and conditions and procedures for awarding them, and the situations when the holders can carry them or take them back.

According to Dr. Khoja, the Cabinet authorized the Governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) or his deputy to sign a draft agreement with the government of Japan to encourage and protect mutual investments.

At the outset of the session, the Cabinet commended King Abdullah’s directives to allocate more than SR 15 billion to establish 22 health projects in various regions of the Kingdom.

Dr. Khoja said that the Council highlighted the Kingdom’s speech in an open debate recently at the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East.

In the speech, Saudi Arabia demanded action to protect the Palestinian prisoners and highlighted what they are being exposed to from violations of their political, humanitarian and physical rights by the Israeli authorities.

The Kingdom also noted the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria where the number of dead has so far exceeded 70,000 people, and the number of refugees reached more than 3 million. — SG/SPA