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Ministry of Hajj and Umrah boosts services for pilgrims with disabilities

Saudi expands Hajj services for elderly and disabled pilgrims

MAKKAH, June 19, 2024

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has expanded services for elderly pilgrims and pilgrims with disabilities with the full participation of government and private entities, which it said will ensure a safe and fulfilling Hajj experience for all, a report said.

Abdullah Al-Harbi, Director General of Social Responsibility and Voluntary Work at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, said that the kingdom is prioritising accessibility at the holy sites, the Saudi Gazette said.

Upgrades include access features like buses with specialised equipment, clearly marked routes for stoning the Jamarat, and accessible pathways throughout the holy sites.

Furthermore, pilgrims with disabilities benefit from dedicated medical and health teams that accompany them throughout their journey.

A network of over 6,500 volunteers is also on hand to assist pilgrims. These volunteers are trained to prevent overcrowding and prioritize the well-being of elderly pilgrims and pilgrims with disabilities. Support includes preferential entry to and exit from the holy sites, priority boarding on buses, and general assistance to those who need it.

Khalid Khabrani, spokesperson for the Authority of People with Disabilities, stated that the authority is working closely with other Hajj stakeholders to ensure accessibility for pilgrims with various needs.

Through this collaboration, a range of services are provided, including sign language translation, electric wheelchairs, and copies of the Quran in Braille.

The authority is committed to continuously improving its services. It tracks transportation, communication, healthcare, and Hajj campaigns to ensure accessibility and addresses any potential issues. It monitors pilgrims' needs in Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifah to further enhance services in the future.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's support extends beyond Hajj. It offers year-round programs specifically designed for first-time Umrah performers with newly acquired motor disabilities. These enriching programs provide guided Umrah rituals and visits to significant landmarks in Makkah.

 




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