MOH News

The Fifth International Conference on Mass Gathering Medicine (ICMGM) Concludes in Riyadh
05 November 2023
Under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, may Allah protect him, the Fifth International Conference on Mass Gathering Medicine (ICMGM) was concluded in Riyadh. It was organized by the Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine (GCMGM) in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) under the theme “Legacy in Global Health Security” and in the presence of a number of specialists and experts in the field of mass gathering medicine locally and internationally. 
  The 3-day conference included more than 18 specialized scientific sessions, in which more than 120 speakers from 30 participating countries discussed many research areas in mass gathering medicine and its technologies. The main sessions included the fields of health security and global progress, governance, planning and capacity building and evaluation, while 14 sub-sessions discussed logistics, operations, research, development, and innovation. The sessions also discussed events, risk communication, and community engagement. Experts also discussed medical planning for events, epidemiological surveillance, and emergency medical teams. The sessions included topics on ports, international travel, climate change, and heat-related diseases. The speakers touched on infection prevention and control, case management, and laboratory capacity development, in addition to biosecurity and immunization. Aslo, the conference’s sessions reviewed the experience of the healthcare model in Hajj and Umrah.
The (ICMGM) concluded by presenting many recommendations as a summary of the working papers and research presented during its sessions, which aim to enhance specialized knowledge in mass gathering medicine and develop aspects of practices that include strategies, plans, programs, mechanisms and tools to achieve the desired goals in the specific medical field. The most prominent of these recommendations are: the necessity of designing plans to manage public health risks as one of the pillars of global health security; This is due to the important role of mass gathering management in building institutional capacities in a sustainable manner and enhancing the positive impact on health systems, and emphasizing the importance of applying the mass gathering healthcare model, including public health and health security on the one hand, and urgent health services and emergency and disaster preparedness on the other hand. The recommendations also included allocating resources and funding in order to develop comprehensive preparedness and develop advanced monitoring systems capable of taking advantage of digital technology to collect and analyze data in real time to track relevant health indicators, which include creating international systems for epidemiological surveillance through which data on visitors to the host country is shared. They also included forming global work teams to establish unified health protocols, standards and reference guidelines for mass gatherings, including developing a standard matrix for health practitioners, supporting mass immunization and developing pre- and post-entry strategies to prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases, including digital certificates.
It is worth noting that the International Conference on Mass Gathering Medicine (ICMGM), which is being held for the fifth time, comes within the efforts of the Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, affiliated to the Ministry of Health, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences in the field of mass gathering medicine and expanding the centers and network of specialists in this specific field, in a way that contributes to strengthening global health security. On the sidelines of the conference, 10 accompanying workshops were held with the attendance of  400 practitioners and those interested in mass gathering medicine, which included medical planning skills for events (Salem tool), risk management for public health emergencies, risk reporting and community participation. The workshops also included emergency medical services, surveillance and rapid response team skills, biosafety and biosecurity. The conference also included an exhibition in which a number of health authorities and international health organizations participated, through which they provided their educational and awareness-raising services to the attendees, as part of the efforts made by the Kingdom through the transformation system in the health sector to contribute to enhancing security by enabling the health sector transformation program - one of the programs of the Saudi Vision 2030. The aim is to contribute to strengthening global health security and to cooperate with the World Health Organization (WHO) in sharing expertise and experiences and encouraging research initiatives in the field of mass gathering medicine and health security, with a focus on developing evidence-based decision-making mechanisms and behavioral health.

Last Update : 06 November 2023 03:35 PM
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