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Evaluation of coordination mechanism between medical hajj missions and MOH during hajj 1432H.


A number of foreign medical missions operate during Hajj to provide services to their pilgrims. The coordination of activities of these missions and Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) is very important to provide efficient health services for pilgrims. This study was conducted to review the coordination mechanism among these missions and Saudi MOH and to identify the deficiencies in the coordination between them, particularly in the reporting of infectious diseases


It was a cross-sectional study based on interviews of Director of Saudi MOH coordination committee and liaison officers of 35 foreign medical missions operating in Makkah city during hajj 1432H. Data was collected about liaison officer characteristics, available communication facilities, liaison activities, patient care and disease reporting.


A total of 35 medical missions worked during Hajj 1432 H. Among the 35 participating liaison officers 51.4% spoke Arabic fluently and 71.4% spoke English fluently. More than two third of the medical missions had received formal approval from Saudi MOH. In term of communication tools, 57.1% had phone (land line), 45.7% had fax machine, 97.1% had mobile phone, 60.0% had internet, and 31.4% had wireless phone. 97.1 % of the medical hajj missions had coordination meetings with MOH. Most of medical hajj missions had a list of notifiable diseases received from Saudi-MOH this year. 74.2% of the missions sent the notifiable disease reports daily using the MOH notifiable disease form, but four of the missions did not send any report. Around half of them 51.4% sent that form by fax and 25.7% used special messengers. Most of the missions notified zero cases of communicable disease. 80.0% of them sent patient statistics reports and more than two third sent their statistics reports daily. Additionally, most of the final reports were prepared by the missions, but only half of those reports were sent to MOH. 97.2% of the missions' coordinators were satisfied about coordination between medical hajj missions and Saudi MOH and about half of them 48.6% were fully satisfied.


The notifiable disease reporting mechanism worked satisfactorily for majority of the medical missions during last Hajj, while routine feedback and response for failure in reporting was not adequate.