WHO/Europe support for past mass gatherings


WHO, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the United Kingdom Health Protection Agency (HPA) met the Serbian Ministry of Health and organizers of the Exit festival in June 2011. The visit focused on the preparedness of the public health system, management of potential disasters and an assessment of Serbia’s capacity to manage chemical, biological or radio nuclear (CBRN) threats.


WHO worked closely with ECDC and the Spanish health ministry to ensure that pilgrims travelling to Madrid for World Youth Day in 2011 were aware of the recommended health precautions, including vaccinations and prevention of heat-related illness. WHO’s virtual interdisciplinary advisory group on mass gatherings shared the lessons learned from previous world youth days with the Spanish organizers.


WHO/Europe shared tools, documents and resources with the planners of the World Scout Jamboree in Kristianstad in 2011.


The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Athletics took place in Berlin shortly after the declaration of phase 6 of the pandemic of A(H1N1) influenza in 2009. The German organizers consulted WHO on the proper management of suspected cases, to avoid endangering the other participants and jeopardizing the performance of athletes.


Alongside the Greek Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity, WHO was actively involved in health preparedness planning, especially in epidemiological surveillance and CBRN threat management, for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.