Mass casualty simulation exercise held ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Doha: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), conducted a mass casualty simulation exercise on Wednesday, August 17, entitled “Public Health Sector Response during a nationwide mass casualty incident.

The simulation exercise organized through the three-year partnership between MoPH, WHO, FIFA and Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which aims to deliver a safe and healthy event with a lasting impact on sport and health.

The exercise aimed to test the health system’s emergency response operations and included the participation of MoPH, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Sidra Medicine and the National Health Incident Command Center. (NHICC). Located at the HMC Ambulance Service headquarters, the NHICC brings together these healthcare organizations to coordinate the healthcare industry’s response to major incidents.

MoPH Director of Health Emergencies, Dr. Mohammed Al Hajri, explained the importance of conducting the simulation exercise. “Approximately 1.5 million fans are expected to come to Qatar to attend this year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches. To ensure the safety of players, officials, visiting fans and local residents throughout the tournament, MoPH has been working closely with our partners in the health sector and with experts from the WHO to implement a robust set of measures to mitigate any potential risks to public health”.

“The purpose of this simulation exercise was to test our emergency response plans in a controlled environment prior to the tournament, assess their effectiveness, and modify our plans and protocols as necessary,” added Dr. Al Hajri.

Qatar has a great deal of experience in organizing high-profile sporting events in recent years and the health system has played an important role in supporting the success of these tournaments. In the last three years alone, healthcare teams have been involved in hosting large-scale tournaments in Qatar, including the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics and the 2019 Arab Cup of Athletics. FIFA 2021.

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Dr. Rayana Bou Haka, WHO Representative and Head of Qatar Country Office, said: “This simulation exercise is the latest in a series of workshops and exercises that WHO is running this year in collaboration with MoPH before of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The focus of this exercise was to test and evaluate the emergency operations functions of the health sector during a nationwide mass casualty incident in which a significant number of patients required transfer and admission to hospital.

The simulation exercise was conducted under the Health Security pillar of the partnership between MoPH, WHO, FIFA and SC. The pillar aims to put safety at the center of the tournament, with a specific focus on risk assessment, mass gathering protocols inside and outside the stadiums, event-based surveillance to protect people from infectious disease outbreaks and risk communications.

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