Al-Khair Foundation were delighted to sponsor the inaugural two-day multi-faith medical conference, on global mass gatherings and their health aspects.
With around 2.5 million Muslims attending Hajj annually, up to 70 million Hindus attending Kumbh Mela, 30 million attending Arbaeen and Catholic crowds of up to 7 million during Papal visits in the Philippines – mass gatherings impact people of all faiths and backgrounds, and carry with them a unique set of risks.
These risks include disease transmission management, healthcare provision, crowd control to ensure safety and protection from stampedes, and special measures to accommodate vulnerable people in making their visits and pilgrimages more manageable.
Al-Khair Foundation were the event’s main sponsors – in partnership with London North West NHS and the Mass Gatherings and Global Health Research and Training Network – with the event’s first day in Mayfair, central London, and the second day at the House of Lords, Westminster.
The conference enabled key health stakeholders and experts to learn from each other’s experiences and share good practices in ensuring public health and security at mass gatherings – providing a unique learning opportunity and informing the steps which authorities, NGOs and faith leaders can take to help these pilgrimages run smoothly.
Speaking onstage at the conference, Dr Jafer Qureshi, Consultant Psychiatrist and Al-Khair Foundation Trustee, commented on how “The management of mass gatherings is a complex process which requires the effective collaboration of governmental institutions and civil society.
“Al-Khair Foundation are delighted to sponsor this inaugural event, formalising a forum for their study and analysis – helping us to ensure diverse faith groups can meet their religious obligations, and allowing us to promote preventative measures and proper education to ensure pilgrim’s safety.”