King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry Agriculture announced today signing of a memorandum of understanding for joint cooperation to support research on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Coruna). This memorandum targets coordinating and consolidating exerted national efforts, exchanging experiences and expertise as well as harnessing the capabilities of the three signatory parties.
Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed Al Saud, KACT President, highlighted that KACST has agreed with both ministries of health and agriculture on a common framework where KACST supports efforts of both ministries in research and technology transfer to help control the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome infection in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Prince added that KACST will contribute through this memorandum to provide technical and financial support to conduct research in addition to harnessing KACST’s infrastructure of specialized laboratories aided by highly developed digital structure to create a national database for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome that would be expanded later to cover all infectious diseases throughout the Kingdom .
Engineer Khalid al-Falih, Minister of Health, stressed for his part, the essentiality of the role played by scientific research in building up national capacities and enabling them to fight epidemic diseases, which, by its turn, calls for the need of the ministry to be accessible and open-minded to all researchers and research centers to complement efforts in the fight and control of epidemic diseases including Coruna based on scientific and technical foundations to achieve the health welfare for both citizens and residents.
For his part, Engineer AbdulRahman Al-Fadhli, Minister of Agriculture, cleared that the ministry welcomes all scientific cooperation that aims to develop its employees’ capacity to meet the challenges facing the society, through combating traditional and emerging joint diseases between human and animals according to the one health strategy, the most recent of which is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and the cooperation in this effect with the scientific community and research related to livestock and providing the necessary support for these scientific and medical institutions to serve both citizens and residents on this blessed country, as well as the preservation of the local livestock. The Agriculture affirmed that this move comes as a continuation of the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Agriculture in the previous period to resist the Coruna disease
This cooperation comes in the context of KACST’s role and functions to support and encourage scientific research for applied purposes, coordinate among and with institutions and centers of scientific research activities in this area in line with the requirements of development in the Kingdom
The Ministry of Health, within its functions that provide health care at all levels, works to promote public health, prevent diseases, develop laws governing the health sector, public and private regulations as well as monitoring the performance of sector with emphasis on the research, academic training and investment in health.
Among the main tasks of the Ministry of Agriculture are developing livestock in the Kingdom, preventing the transmission of common diseases among animals and humans, which infect humans through direct contact with these animals, as well as ensuring the safety of local products of animal origin for human consumption and conformity with the Saudi Arabia standards, as well as issuing related regulating legislation along with monitoring their application, in addition to supporting scientific research and strengthening the technical and administrative capacity to achieve all this.