Qatar’s past handling of large-scale events is proof that the healthcare sector is equipped for larger mass gatherings, a recent study revealed.
“The successful implementation of these past projects, which maintained a high level of client and staff safety and satisfaction, demonstrates the importance of project planning and continuous monitoring in project success, even in the face of uncertain conditions such as a global pandemic,” the study read.
The research, published by Hamad Bin Khalifa University(HBKU) press, looked at Covid-19 screening for the 2020 Amir Cup, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Finals 2020, FIFA Club World Cup 2020, and the National Covid-19 Mass Vaccination Project in Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) in 2021.
With less than 130 days until the World Cup kickoff games, concerns have been raised in the past about Qatar’s ability to effectively handle mass gatherings in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic.
The three events examined in the report were all managed by Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and each project described in this case can be considered a success in terms of public health, the authors added.
During these past major events, Qatar faced key public health challenges , including safely hosting major international sporting events while minimising Covid-19 transmission and successfully establishing mass vaccination sites.
Despite this, PHCC was instrumental in managing these large-scale public health projects. The organisation’s ability to use a flexible project management approach allowed it to successfully handle these huge public health programmes in the setting of a global epidemic, the study argued.
The Covid-19 screening project for the AFC Finals and Amir Cup took place in November and December 2020 and entailed screening approximately 28,000 spectators during that time frame.
Screening for the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 took place over the course of the first two weeks of February 2021 and involved more than 25,000 spectators.
Earlier this year, PHCC also announced an increase of 30% in supplies and health care workers ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The health centres will be also operating 24/7 during the World Cup.
Heath care assistance during the World Cup
Officials from Qatar, the World Health Organization (WHO) and FIFA have also recently agreed to a series of measures that will boost and protect health during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Initially launched in late 2021, the partnership is overseen by the heads of WHO, Qatar Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
The commitments emphasised the safety of everyone involved in the tournament and partners pledged to take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
As the first international tournament in the Middle East and Arab world, the World Cup in Qatar poses a special opportunity to develop a new method in which lessons from the pandemic blended with sports and health can be deduced.
Healthy food options will be available inside stadiums and fan zones. They also agreed to enhance tobacco prohibition in those areas.
They will also begin the issuing of collaborative agreements with relevant countries to “benchmark legacy building activities”, as well as exchange points obtained with the International Olympic Committee for Paris 2024 and Milano Cortina 2026.
“This partnership will help to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a role model for healthy sporting events,” WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“It’s important that the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East will be the healthiest World Cup ever,” stated FIFA President Gianni Infantino.