In its report presented before the Shura Council, the Health Committee has stressed the importance of learning lessons from the pandemic. Image Credit: Sabq

Abu Dhabi: As the coronavirus pandemic highlighted an urgent need to support and localise medical equipment manufacturing, the Saudi Shura Council Health Committee has demanded that the Food and Drug Authority in the country review its strategy and work with the Industrial Development Fund, the Standards and Metrology Authority, and other relevant bodies to localise the medical devices industry and protective supplies, Saudi media reported.

In its report presented before the Shura Council, the Health Committee has stressed the importance of learning lessons from the pandemic, particularly in view of the shortage of respirators and personal protective equipment for health workers, intensive care units, medical beds, radiology equipment and other related items.

“The medical industry, and its integration with the sectors of the economic system in the kingdom, will provide goods and services to face any upcoming crisis, and achieve health security for the kingdom, which has all the qualifications that make it a leader in this field,” the committee said in a report.

Health benefits

In its recommendations, the Shura Health Committee also demanded monitoring household appliances with health benefits such as air purifiers, equipment for desalination or purification of domestic water. Often manufacturers and marketers of these products claim they have health benefits, though the users of these devices are often not able to check the veracity of such claims.

The council has called on the Saudi Food and Drug Authority to take stringent steps and enforce suitable penalties to prevent social media influencers from misleading people with false claims.

The council has also sought clarity in disclosing the level of sulphur dioxide present in consumer food products.

The Shura Council has stressed taking necessary measures to ensure the effectiveness of local and imported medicines and demanded that the Food and Drug Authority, in coordination with other relevant bodies, put a quality mark on all bottled water to reassure consumers about the quality of the product. It sought to address the issue of poor quality of certain imported goods and advised launching an initiative that would focus on healthy food for children, educating families and society about this and expediting the setting of standards for preclinical studies that guarantee the safety and effectiveness of medical products manufactured in Saudi Arabia.