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A conference in Saudi Arabia discussing Mass Gathering Medicine

A special conference will be held by The Lancet magazine in incorporation with the Saudi Ministry of Health on mass gatherings medicine in Jeddah on Oct. 23-25.Such conference is the first of its kind in the Middle East and Gulf region as it was mentioned by Ministry of health spokesman Khaled Al-Mirghalani .

Al- Mirghalani mentioned that “The London-based medical journal is collaborating with the Saudi ministry in view of the fact that the ministry employs the most eminent medical experts in the area of interaction with mass gatherings in terms of treatment, preventive measures and monitoring of infections,”

He added “Experts in infections, general health and viral diseases as well as crowd control managers the world over are eager to benefit from Saudi expertise with regard to the management of pilgrims and the impact of mass gatherings on public health.”
It was reported in an article in Lancet that there are professional experts in the in the management of mass gatherings, it also said that Haj pilgrimage represents one of the largest and most important opportunities to study , for instance, Haj planners faced the danger of global H1N1 spread between pilgrims.

Moreover, the article pointed out that there is a number of difficulties which face Mass gatherings medicine officials such as water and sanitation management, environmental health challenges, travel medicine; vaccination strategies, implementation of international health regulations; national and international security; emergency preparedness; transportation; immigration; crowd management; border control, bioterrorism and other terrorism management.

The conference is aiming to achieve a number of targets including exchanging experience, especially the difficulties related to hosting Haj during a global pandemic, to research the interaction between religion, global-health diplomacy, foreign policy and vaccine strategies in disease control.  The conference also aims to review isolation and quarantine challenges during mass gatherings.
In addition, the conference is looking forward to offer the chance to learn more about mass gatherings as a one-stop research platform for the international epidemiology of communicable diseases in more than 160 countries and providing a platform for discussion to produce ideas for issues such as surveillance and outbreak containment during mass gatherings.

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