The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), held a mass casualty simulation exercise titled Public health sector response during a national level mass casualty incident.
The simulation exercise is organized through the three-year partnership between MoPH, WHO, FIFA, and the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) and intends to deliver a safe and healthy event with a lasting sport and health impact.
The exercise was aimed to test the emergency response operations of the healthcare system and included participation from MoPH, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Sidra Medicine and the National Health Incident Command Center (NHICC). NHICC which is Located in HMCs Ambulance Service headquarters, brings together these healthcare organizations to coordinate the healthcare sectors response to major incidents.
Director of Health Emergency at the MoPH, Dr. Mohammed Al Hajri explained the importance of holding the simulation exercise, saying that estimated 1.5 million fans are expected to come to Qatar to attend this years FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches, and for the sake of ensuring the safety of players, officials, visiting fans and local residents throughout the tournament, MoPH has been working closely with MoPH partners in the healthcare sector, and experts from WHO, to further put a robust set of measures in place to mitigate any potential public health risks, adding that the aim of this simulation exercise was to test our emergency response plans in a controlled environment ahead of the tournament, to evaluate their effectiveness, and to modify our plans and protocols as needed.
Qatar has a wealth of experience in hosting high-profile sporting events in recent years and the healthcare system has played an important role in supporting the successful running of these tournaments. In the past three years alone, healthcare teams have been involved in Qatars hosting of large-scale tournaments including the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, IAAF World Athletics Championships 2019 and the FIFA Arab Cup 2021.
WHO Representative and Head of Qatar Country Office Dr. Rayana Bou Haka said that the simulation exercise is the latest of a series of workshops and exercises the WHO is delivering this year in collaboration with MoPH ahead 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 national level mass casualty incident in which significant numbers of patients required transfer and admission to hospital.
The simulation exercise was delivered under the Health Security pillar of the partnership between MoPH, WHO, FIFA, and SC. The pillar aims to put safety and security at the center of the tournament, with a specific focus on risk assessment, mass gathering protocols inside and outside stadiums, event-based surveillance to protect people from infectious disease outbreaks and risk communications.
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