International Journal of Infectious Diseases
January 2018 Volume 66, p1-156
From mass gatherings medicine to mass gatherings health: Conclusions from the 3rd International Conference on Mass Gatherings Medicine, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Yezli, WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings Medicine, A. Assiri, H. Nabulsi, A. Awam, WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings Medicine, L. Blumberg, T. Endericks, WHO Collaborating Centre for Mass Gatherings and Global Health Security, A. Stergachis, WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings Public Health, S. Reicher, B. McCloskey, WHO Collaborating Centre for Mass Gatherings and Global Health Security, E. Petersen, B. Alotaibi, WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings Medicine
Published in issue: January 2018
At the conclusion of 40 presentations, discussion sessions and deliberations among expects, the conference:
:: Recognised the key contribution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the international knowledge regarding MGs planning and management including the leadership of the Global Centre for Mass Gatherings Medicine (GCMGM), MOH.
:: Highlighted the importance of mass gatherings health as set out in the 2010 Jeddah declaration including the significance of the multidisciplinary approach that has been applied. This, in recognition that ensuring the health and wellbeing of people attending MGs as well as the communities hosting them, requires a move from the limiting concept of “Mass Gatherings Medicine” to the more encompassing field of “Mass Gatherings Health”.
:: Called for the incorporation of newer areas to the discipline of “Mass Gatherings Health” such as the socio-psychological dimension of MGs.
:: Demonstrated the critical importance of knowledge and experience sharing in promoting MGs planning and called for wider commitment to expanding collaboration
:: Recognized the vital contribution of mass gatherings health to health system strengthening, public health and global health security.
:: Identified a clear need for expanding the evidence base for mass gatherings health which requires committed research in priority areas of the discipline supported by effective knowledge dissemination.
:: Highlighted the importance of integration of mass gatherings health and management into professional education and training to build human capacity and expertise in the field.
:: In relation to Hajj, emphasised the need to address the impact of climate change on the event and consider innovative approaches including engineering solutions, called for standardized definitions and approaches to heat-related illnesses and for more research related to the burden of non-communicable diseases and interventions to mitigate their negative effect.