Upcoming mass gatherings in the WHO European Region

WHO/Europe supports countries in preparing for large-scale public events.

Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Kyiv, Ukraine

Preparations started in mid-March 2017 with hospital safety trainings for health specialists from the Ministry of Health and the Public Health Centre, engineers from 5 hospitals affiliated with mass gatherings who are responsible for civil protection, and representatives from Kyiv City Administration.

An assessment of 2 hospitals designated for the Eurovision Song Contest followed. Hospitals were evaluated using the Hospital Safety Index assessment tool with a focus on structural, nonstructural and emergency preparedness components. As a follow-up, the expert team that received training in March conducted Hospital Safety Index assessments for 3 additional hospitals. The assessments will be extended to 2 other regions in the country.

In mid-April 2017, WHO/Europe also provided training to health decision-makers on managing public health events during mass gatherings. The training was developed jointly with Public Health England.

Olympic Games 2012, London, United Kingdom

With the WHO Collaborating Centre for Mass Gatherings and High Visibility/High Consequences Events recently established in the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in London, WHO is providing strong support in preparations for the Olympics.

WHO developed its tool for planning and assessment of mass gatherings in close cooperation with HPA, and several HPA staff have participated in WHO observer programmes at the 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. HPA and WHO will continue to work closely to define WHO’s support during the Summer Olympics.

In November 2011, HPA and WHO/Europe jointly organized a workshop to document the arrangements made for managing a health-system crisis for the 2012 Olympics. Then the partners made an assessment of the health system’s capacity for crisis management.

UEFA European Football Championships (EURO 2012), Poland and Ukraine

WHO staff made several visits to the host countries to assess their work for health-system preparedness, including crisis-management capacity and hospital preparedness. WHO provided specific support in immunization planning in Ukraine.

WHO/Europe issued health advice for travellers in six languages, and shared and translated planning tools. It is also facilitating the exchange of public health information between the health ministries in Poland and Ukraine. Poland is planning to host a programme that will enable observers to attend and review EURO 2012 events and later mass gatherings from the perspective of public health preparedness.

With guidance from the Tobacco Free Initiative, EURO 2012 has been declared a nonsmoking event.

2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi, Russian Federation

WHO has discussed public health services for the event with the organizers and responsible authorities from Rospotrebnadzor (the Federal Service on Customers’ Rights Protection and Human Well-being Surveillance), and has shared the tool for planning and assessment of mass gatherings with the organizers.