MOH News
KSA to Host the 2nd International Conference for Mass Gathering Medicine
23 July 2013
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has issued his approval of hosting the second International Conference for Mass Gathering Medicine, to be organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH), over the period from 15 to 17 Dhul-Qeadah, 1434H.
The Deputy Minister for Public Health, Dr. Zeyad Memish, has stated that the conference will be attended by the Secretary General of the Arab League, the Secretary General of the GCC and the Director General of WHO. Participants in the conference will include, also, health ministers of the GCC states, Director of the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, in addition to the health ministers of USA, France, Cuba, Canada, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia and South Korea. That's to be added to members of the International Advisory Board, and a constellation of experts and scientists from all over the world, as well as several international and regional organizations.
“The conference is reckoned an opportunity to benefit from globally renowned experts and specialists in the international organizations and western countries,” said Dr. Memish. “It will also provide a proper environment for the change of experiences, and, accordingly, the development of health programs in such a vital arena.”
Dr. Memish went on to point out that the conference aims to take a closer look at the academic and practical experiences formerly acquired in similar circumstances, with a view to promote the efficiency of the health procedures taken to address gatherings and agglomerations during Hajj and Umrah. Besides, the conference will be reviewing the Kingdom's Hajj experience, given its peculiarity, with more than two million pilgrims confined in a limited geographic space, and specific time; which adds a lot to its complexity, and makes the Kingdom, in that respect, a model to be followed.
It should be noted that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, patronized the first conference on the impact of mass-gatherings on public health. It was held in Jeddah on 15-17 Dhul-Qeadah, 1432H, corresponding to 23-25 October, 2010, and was attended by as many experts as 500, in addition to 30 speakers and specialists from all over the world, aside from experts of the WHO, and Gulf and Arab organizations.
The mentioned conference came up with a recommendation to establish a KSA-based international referential entity specialized in mass-gathering medicine. Such an entity is to be tasked with the classification and definition of the concepts, tasks and activities of mass health. It shall also be responsible for spreading the culture, programs and regulations of mass-gathering health, all of which based on the premises and output of the considerable, fact-based researches.
Moreover, participants in the first conference adopted the Jeddah Declaration for Mass-Gathering Medicine, which is deemed to be the first international, regional declaration to underscore providing comprehensive, safe health care for beneficiaries of such services. It also called for investment in all that is useful for the integration of such care, placing particular emphasis on health promotion, health education, prevention, finding ways to make optimal use of resources, and qualifying the necessary competencies. 
By the end of the conference, participants have agreed to hold this conference regularly (every two years), and assigned the Saudi Ministry of Health to organize it, given the significant experiences the Saudi government got to accumulate in that domain. They recommended also organizing this conference in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the relevant international academic institutions.

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