The Mass Gathering Special Interest Group of WADEM strives to be the organizational vehicle welcoming and representing practitioners from all countries with an intent and desire to strengthen and improve the practice and knowledge of mass gathering health.
A Mass Gathering (MG) has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an occasion, either organized or spontaneous where the "number of people attending is sufficient to strain the planning and response resources of the community, city, or nation hosting the event" (WHO, 2008). These events can be planned or spontaneous, and may be as diverse as social, religious, cultural or sporting events or include the gathering of people as the result of natural disasters or conflict. Mass Gatherings present their own unique challenges to public health and other risks.
The field of mass gathering health is under constant development and in early 2012 the Executive Board (EB) of the World Health Organization requested that the Director-General further develop and disseminate multi-sectoral guidance on planning, management, evaluation and monitoring of all types of mass gathering. This is to be developed with specific emphasis on sustainable preventive measures including health education and preparedness. The EB decision has reinforced the existing WHO strategy of working closely with Member States that are planning mass gatherings and helping Member States to strengthen functional capacities to better utilize the International Health Regulations (2005) for MGs. This work is to be carried out by the WHO, its collaborating network, and the broader international public health community.
The proposed mission of the Mass Gathering SIG is to foster collaboration among practitioners involved in research, education, management, and practice in prehospital, emergency, public health, and/or mass gathering health care.
The purposes of the Mass Gathering SIG are to:
The goals of the Mass Gathering SIG are to:
Jamie is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Canberra. His research interests are in the area of disaster and mass gathering health. Jamie is currently completing a Doctor of Philosophy at Flinders University, where he researches the experience of Australian nurses who assist in the out-of-hospital disaster environment. He has over 40 publications in the area of disaster and mass gathering health.
Jamie is an active member of a number of national and international nursing associations. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing and College of Emergency Nursing Australasia. He is currently the chair-elect of the WADEM Mass Gathering Section. Jamie has volunteered with St. John Ambulance Australia for over 20 years, previously holding the high-level national strategic position of Chief Nurse. Additionally, Jamie is an Associate Editor for the Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, holding the disaster portfolio.