MOH News

Mass Gathering Medicine Center Re-accredited as WHO Collaborating Center
05 May 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has renewed its accreditation for the Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine (GCMGM) as a collaborating center over the next 4 years, in the field of mass gatherings medicine.

This center is considered a global entity collaborating with WHO in the field of health and management of masses and human gatherings. It is also one of the few international centers specialized in this domain. Its objectives involve developing policies and evidence-based plans, strengthening scientific research and studies, documenting national experiences in terms of performance related to health of masses and human gatherings, developing capabilities of health professionals in the field, establishing a unified health information system to manage the health of masses, and creating a legacy of health services provided to sustain the health system of the Kingdom and incoming pilgrims.

The Center has made many achievements, most prominently launching Stage 3 of its early warning system (HEWS). It is a crucial alarming tool that alerts against potential public-health risks. The information and statistics collected by this tool from multiple sources are then processed to be employed during Hajj seasons. 

The Center has also developed a system for assessing the availability and readiness of services (SARA). The system, which has been successfully launched and applied, aims at documenting the availability of health services, and their development over successive Hajj seasons. By doing so, the system comes up with evidence-based outcomes for the future planning of services, in a manner that fits the Saudi Vision 2030. 

Another tool created by GCMGM is Jeddah Tool. It was designed to provide strategic assessments of public-health risks at large agglomerations and mass gatherings and act as a global reference in the field.  Noteworthy, GCMGM has published over 50 papers at international scientific magazines. 

Besides, mass gathering medicine training courses have been organized on such topics as public-health risk management, and dealing with heat strokes.  Furthermore, it participates with specific research papers in the field of heat-related illnesses (such as sunstrokes), and has developed a national guide to dealing with them.

GCMGM has also introduced ‘Salem Tool’, for assessment of health risks in gatherings and public places, as well as putting forth recommendations for promoting health safety, and prevention of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).  It was made available on MOH's website.

Moreover, within the framework of its unstinting efforts, the Center has orchestrated the National Risk Communication Plan, and developed an early warning system to address public-health issues. The trial application of the system in Hajj and seasons and locations has paved way for its generalization to include all regions of the Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last Update : 09 May 2021 03:17 AM
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