Disinfecting spectators’ hands with hand sanitizing gel at the Africa Cup of Nations, Equatorial Guinea, 2015. WHO/Nicolas Isla
Thanks to preparedness activities by Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Health, FIFA and the World Health Organization (WHO), the 1 million people gathered in Equatorial Guinea for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations are able to focus more on footie than on fears of Ebola.
So what does it take to ensure that capacities are in place to prevent, identify and respond to potential Ebola virus transmission at such a large mass gathering?
"Large mass gatherings like the FIFA World Cup, the Olympic Games or the Africa Cup of Nations are highly visible events and offer the occasion to promote long lasting health legacies," says Dr. Maurizio Barbeschi, WHO scientist and team leader for the WHO preparedness and mass gatherings team. Barbeschi and colleagues have published numerous articles on mass gatherings and disease surveillance and control, including a recent series inThe Lancet.
"Mass gatherings require extensive preparation," adds Nicolas Isla, WHO technical officer within the same team, now deployed in Equatorial Guinea for AFCON. "Coordinated surveillance and alert systems have to be installed in each point of entry, stadium and hospital. Rapid response teams, dedicated […]