MOH News
Release of the Mass Gathering Medicine Conference Recommendations
24 September 2013
Under the royal auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, may Allah protect him; the second Mass Gathering Medicine World Conference was held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, from Dhul-Qa'dah 15th to 17th, 1434H, corresponding to September 21 to 23, 2013. It was kicked off by his Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah. Present were the Bahraini, Yemeni, Egyptian, Turkish, Korean, and Sudanese health ministers; health leaders represented by the Kuwaiti, Emirati, Omani, Qatari, and Indonesian health ministries, the Regional Director for the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League, the General Trusteeship of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Executive Board of the Health Ministers' Council for GCC States. It was also attended by representatives of the Mass Gathering Medicine world centers, European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as world experts from all over the world on the fields related to the Mass Gathering Medicine.
 
Shortly after the official inauguration, his Excellency the Minister of Health held a roundtable session which was attended by the Bahraini, Yemeni, Egyptian, Turkish, Korean, and Sudanese health ministers; along with representative of the Indonesian health ministry, the Regional Director for the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean; and representatives of the American, European, and British Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
The central discussions revolved around the importance of the Mass Gathering Medicine; especially its role in maintaining the world health security, the significance of the early epidemiological surveillance forcauses of the fresh diseases; namely the latest ones such as CoronaVirus, and focusing on the necessity of exchanging the epidemiologicalinformation; along with paying attention to respecting a patient's privacy when publishing the epidemiological infromation. Further, discussions touched upon the importance of the scientific and professional cooperation among all concerned partners; together with highlighting thesignificance of maintaining the intellectual property rights of the relevant countries; in order to guarantee that the states have what contributes to controlling a disease and having access to the examinations, treatment, and inoculations.
 
All the same, participants affirmed the importance of the media role in health education, media coverage, and publishing the proper information on thediseasesrelated to public health in a scientific way documented by the concerned sources. This is with the aim of educating without spreading panic; along with adhering to the profession ethics.
 
In the meantime, those participating at the conference unanimously voiced the importance of the Kingdom's long experience in managing mass gatherings which it gained through its annual, watertight organizing for the Hajj and Umrah rituals, which effectively contributes to maintaining the world health security.
 
With the same context, over three days, the scientific and practical means and methods of the Mass Gathering Medicine were tackled; of which are the importance of researches and development, helping draw on the experience of the states and the regional and international bodies on mass gatherings, experience of controlling diseases developedduringtravel, experience of the regional and world organizations control centers on the mass gathering effects and their world risks.Discussions also brought up the role and duties of mass media and the medical scientific printed materials in publishing the public health-related researches. All the more, several sessions were designated for tackling the scientific and research developments on the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-COV), as well as displaying what the Kingdom, in collaboration with the world centers, did with regard todescribing the virus and sharing sample examinations; in order to recognize the virus and its genetic history.
 
The conference issued the following recommendations:
  •  Extending thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, may Allah protect him, for his auspices and great hospitality for the conference attendance, and affirming what came on the Jeddah declaration of recommendations which werematerialized in establishing the Mass Gathering Medicine World Center in the Kingdom and making preparations for holding this conference which is considered as a key stepping stone in terms of exchanging information and enriching the scientific research.  
  •  Supporting cooperation, coordination, and experience exchange among Mass Gathering Medicine centers, world centers for diseases control and prevention, and concerned research centers; with the aim of  early detecting the new and latest disease causes; together with  protecting the states' intellectual property rights of the scientific discoveries.
  • Shedding light on the importance of supporting the Mass Gathering Medicine, and capitalizing on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's cumulative experience on this field through the Mass Gathering Medicine World Center; namely on the training fields, scientific researches, and experience exchange.  
  • Stressing on the necessity of exchanging information and experience among states, international organizations, and scientific centers, with a patient's privacy and medical profession ethics taken into consideration when publishing this information.
  • Having the mass Gathering Medicine World Center keep on following up the global developments of the novel MERS-COV in terms of the researches, studies, and treatment and preventive measure protocols; in order to benefit from them during the Hajj and Umarh seasons and other mass gatherings.
  • Launching media and education campaigns to familiarize with the Mass Gathering Medicine, its fields, its specialties, for those interested in this novel specialty, its sought-after benefits, and its domains. 
  • Having the Mass Gathering Medicine World Center in the Kingdom coordinate in order to set measures, policies, and procedures; with the aim of determining the nature of Mass Gathering Medicine, its methods, and its fields; and number of mass gatherings coming under the name of the Mass Gathering Medicine.
  • Lauding the role of media in conveying the health information for citizens, and stressing on the importance of obtaining the information from its trusted sources; along with striking balance in terms of tackling the scientific and medical events, avoiding causing alarm, according to what the profession ethics require.
  • In conclusion, participants recommended organizing the third Mass Gathering Medicine world conference, due to the success this conference made with regard to information exchange and scientific research enrichment.
Riyadh, Dhul-Qe'dah 17th, 1434H; corresponding to September 23rd, 2013
 
 




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