MOH News
International Experts Commend the Mass Gathering Medicine Conference
26 September 2013
A wide-range of international experts participating in the 2nd International Conference for Mass Gathering Medicine have commended the Kingdom's organization of the Conference whose activities ended on Monday evening in the presence of 7 Heath Ministers and nearly a hundred health experts coming from various countries around the world.
The Director and CEO of Samsung Medical Center and the Dean of Sungkyunkwan University's College of Medicine in Seoul, the Korean Dr. Jae-Hoon Song, said that the 2nd International Conference was very crucial because the Mass Gathering Medicine is not known for many physicians around the world, especially with regard to the infectious diseases.
Dr. Song further noted that in cases of human gatherings, whether for performing Hajj or for any other purpose, the transmission of infectious diseases occurs easily as there might by an infected person amidst such gatherings, giving an example of the outbreak of the swine flu, the matter highlighting the importance of this Conference.
Within the same vein, Dr. Song pointed out that the importance of the Conference is not limited only to physicians, but it also benefits the health workers and health policy-makers, referring to his personal interest in detection and treatment of the SARS-like Coronavirus, which poses a threat not only to the Middle East region but also to the whole countries over the world.
For his part, the Professor of Virology and Head of Microbiology Department at Sultan Qaboos University's College of Medicine in Oman, the Austrian Dr. Norbert Nowotny, described this Conference as the best conference he has ever attended throughout his life, 55 years, in terms of its organization, scientific content and efforts exerted to manage it.
Dr. Nowotny added that the place of the Conference did not surprise him the most, but rather he was fascinated by the efforts exerted by the Conference's organizers who did their best to attract the best staff working in the field of Mass Gathering Medicine, including the international health workers, the top researchers of the pioneer scientific centers, and the distinguished physicians.
Also, Dr. Nowotny expressed his appreciation to the Conference's organizers for inviting the Health Ministers of the Arab, Islamic and brother countries, considering it a step to pave the way for providing the highest level of support for any recommendations to be issued by the Conference, which require the government's support to be realized on the ground. In addition, Dr. Nowotny expressed admiration for seeing well-known scientific journals in the Conference, such as the Lancet journal and others; lauding their roles in enriching the Conference discussions.
The Senior Lecturer and the Consultant Clinical Scientist at the University College London, the British Dr. Mike Kidd, expressed his happiness for attending the Mass Gathering Medicine Conference, referring to the good choice and the balanced discussion of subjects.
Within the same vein, Dr. Kidd has lauded the invitation of medical and health journals as well as the ministers of many countries for the Conference, expressing his surprise for meeting officials and representatives belonging to global organizations and health care centers, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In conclusion, Dr. Kidd highlighted that he has greatly benefited from the Conference through gaining information on Mass Gathering Medicine, and overlooking the strenuous efforts exerted by the Kingdom over years in the service of pilgrims, whether in the Hajj or Umrah season.
The Specialist in Viral Diseases and Deputy Head of the Virus Research Unit at the University of Aix-Marseille, the French Dr. Remy Cheryl, said that the Conference was influential in terms of its scientific content and the great initiative provided by the Kingdom to hold it; hoping for the Mass Gathering Medicine Conference to provide new visions and contributions to the latest achievements reached in the fields of Travel and Mass Gathering Medicines, especially in the field of viruses. In addition, Dr. Cheryl hoped for the Conference to generate fruitful collaborations.
Dr. Cheryl added that the Conference has provided him with some information on the new technologies used to speed up detection of the novel Coronavirus (MERS/CoV) which helps treat the affected person quickly.
Moreover, Dr. Cheryl highlighted that he had discussed with his fellow researchers participating in the Conference the new studies related to the health and medical aspects of pilgrimage, as well as the possibility of conducting more studies on the microbes and viruses coming with the pilgrims to the Hajj season, and also discussed the health risks arising therefrom.
The Public Health Physician and Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases at the US's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rima Khabbaz, said that the Conference is organized in a professional manner, lauding the good selection of speakers and participants affiliating to the most important health centers concerned with the infectious diseases and Mass Gathering Medicine. Dr. Khabbaz has also valued the good selection of topics to be discussed.
Within the same vein, Dr. Khabbaz has expressed her happiness for participating in the Conference, which witnesses an exchange of important information on the different subjects listed in agenda of the Conference, including the International Mass-Gathering Medicine Center.
In the same context, Dr. Khabbaz affirmed that the Conference is a good opportunity to review the latest achievements in the field of Mass Gathering Medicine, considering it an important chance to bring specialists from around the world together to exchange information on this important field, and to review their experiences with the aim of benefiting each other.

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