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Improving risk management for major sporting events

Improving risk management for major sporting events
March 23, 2013

High-level representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have announced joint plans to develop a research project on risk assessment and risk management for major sporting events with the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS).

Announced during last week's Securing Sport 2013, major sporting events like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic and Paralympic Games offer unique opportunities to analyse and understand the risks to health and security.

Mass gatherings are semi-controlled settings through which it is possible to analyse and understand the public health and health security risks to societies.

Speaking at the conference WHO Advisor to the Assistant Director-General Ludy Suryantoro stated "the need for better international and multisectoral cooperation for global public health risk has been reinforced by the 2005 International Health Regulations.

"Mass gathering have significant implications for public health beyond the acute public health events which may occur and require rapid detection and effective management.

"These implications extend the benefits of cross sectoral preparedness, planning, and increased national, regional and global preparedness and the need for rapid response.

"Mass gatherings by their very nature represent both a risk and an opportunity to health security with huge social, economic and political impact.

"The many challenges posed by mass gatherings have stimulated the need for further research. There is a need to support this process by conducting systematic research aiming at understanding principles and providing evidence-based recommendations to contribute to the effective management of major sport events.

"In this context, the proposed research collaboration between health and sport security will contribute to filling the research gap and providing evidence-based recommendations for the organisation of major sporting events."

ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab added "the ICSS is fully committed to joining forces with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and supporting their efforts.

"Every time a major sporting event takes place, health authorities and the security community have to work together. Security personnel, for instance, are often the first responders in health-related incidents, which is why there is now a clear need for integrated plans."

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