*PM inaugurates Qatar Health 2020
HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani on Thursday inaugurated the Qatar Health 2020 conference.
The inaugural ceremony of the three-day event was attended by the HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, HE the Minister of Transport and Communication Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti and a number of officials from various departments.
Described as the first of its kind, the conference focuses on 'mass gathering healthcare' and is held as part of Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The conference will help healthcare professionals improve their understanding of mass gathering events in preparation for one of the world’s largest sporting events.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is holding the conference in partnership with the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Aspetar.
The function also marked the launch of the new website of the MoPH by HE Dr al-Kuwari.
The minister said the healthcare sector is working to ensure that it’s fully prepared to respond to the unique demands of major sporting events.
“In recent years Qatar has hosted an increasing number of mega sporting events that attracted thousands. Mass gathering events, in general, have the potential to strain health systems. For this reason, we are focusing on ensuring the healthcare sector as a whole is fully prepared and able to appropriately respond,” she said adding that mass gathering medicine is a new field that focuses on the health risks of mass gatherings.
“Qatar Health 2020 is part of our efforts to ensure our public healthcare system and professionals are ready for the 2022 World Cup,” she said.
Qatar Health 2020 is attended by thousands of health professionals from government and private institutions across the country. They are provided with the guiding principles for preplanned mass gathering events and encouraged to build relationships and sharing of best practices in public health, security, and crowd management.
The event also provides an opportunity to look at advances in mass gathering preparedness and planning as part of setting the scene for a successful 2022 FIFA World Cup.
International experts with experience in mass gatherings as well as representatives from previous World Cup host countries including Russia and Brazil are among the panellists. The conference also has world-renowned speakers from academic institutions, healthcare leaders, disaster managers and government bodies.
PHCC managing director Dr Mariam Ali Abdulmalik said incorporating a prevention-driven, integrated and evidence-based approach delivered across the sector by a multidisciplinary effort is key to preparation efforts in primary healthcare.
“Our preparation for mass gathering at PHCC enhances our ability to deliver primary care services to citizens and visitors comprehensively and efficiently. Our goal is to ensure that provisions of care are in place. The measures we have undertaken to ensure this include a trained multidisciplinary team, a well-informed community and facilities,” she said.
Dr Gaudenz Silberschmidt, WHO director for health and multilateral partnerships, external relations, delivered the keynote address on ‘football-health link with its different dimensions and the collaboration WHO-FIFA-Qatar’.
Qatar Health 2020 conference also hosts an exhibition featuring various ministries and private and public institutions.
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