Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Makkah governor and adviser to King Salman, on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah in Jeddah to implement “Makkah, the City of Safe Heart,” an initiative to teach citizens outside the health sector to administer emergency care for people suffering a heart attack.
Prince Khaled said he valued the efforts of all agencies and parties involved in serving guests during the Haj and Umrah seasons, emphasizing the need to harness all health and therapeutic services for pilgrims.
In its first phase, the initiative will train some 5,000 people to deal with heart attacks in public.
Meanwhile, 1,000 automated external defibrillators (AED) have been distributed in various locations known to trainers and paramedics.
According to the MoU, the Health Ministry will supervise the training with participation from the Saudi Heart Association.
Fixed and movable AEDs will be available, especially in the Grand Mosque area, equipped with a GPS feature.
The initiative aims to train 20 percent of Makkah’s population in three years, and raise awareness of the issue to 80 percent via the media, social media and other communication means.
The initiative involves four pillars: Training, specifying locations of AEDs, administering first aid and moving the patient, and the response of the command-and-control center.