Improving global prehospital and emergency medicine, public health, and disaster health care and preparedness

Mass Gathering

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.

At the WADEM Congress in May 2023, the Mass Gathering Special Interest Group (MG-SIG) decided to hold a bimonthly webinar series focusing on mass gatherings leading up to the Tokyo Congress in May 2025. The webinars are intended to provide a forum for those interested in mass gatherings to hear from experts in the field, exchange ideas and experiences, and network with others. You can check out the most recent presentation below.

Watch the Recent MG-SIG Presentations and Discussions!

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Webinar Date: 14 September 2023

Legacy in Global Health Security for Mass Gatherings – Dr. Anas Khan

Mass gatherings impact global health security. It is important that capacity-building activities for mass gatherings focus on sustainable benefits for global health security. Such activities may include the integration of digital solutions in the mass gathering context. Of importance is the development of global health security strategies that lead to sustainable legacies.

Presentation Slides

Mass Gathering SIG Leadership

Jamie Ranse, PhD
Associate Professor, Griffith University

Founder, Mass Gathering Collaboration
LinkedIn PageTwitter Page
Alison Hutton, PhD
Committee Member
Assistant Dean Education & International, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Newcastle University
Marc-Antoine Pigeon, MD
Committee Member
Adjunct Professor, Université de Sherbrooke

Deputy Director of Prehospital Medicine, Montérégie-Centre

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Development of Mass Gathering Health

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 gatherings. This is being 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.

Mission, Purpose, and Goals

Mission: The 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.

Purpose: The purposes of the Mass Gathering SIG are to:

  • Define issues for public health and mass gathering health care;
  • Exchange scientific and professional information relevant to the practice of mass gathering health; and
  • Encourage collaborative efforts enhancing and expanding the field of mass gathering health research research.

Goals: The goals of the Mass Gathering SIG are to:

  • Develop a mass gathering declaration of cooperation;
  • Network and integrate mass gathering work into WADEM activities and programs;
  • Foster the professional growth of the members of the Mass Gathering Section;
  • Train and educate researchers on the science of mass gathering health.