Protection enhancement strategies of potential outbreaks during Hajj




Disaster Medicine, Emergency Management, outbreaks, Hajj, mass gatherings


Objective: This study aimed to assist governments and organizers of mass gathering events in reviewing existing preventive measures for disease outbreaks to inform the adoption of enhanced strategies for risk reduction and impacts on public health.

Design: A cross-sectional, quantitative, descriptive study.

Setting: This study was conducted in a mass gathering of Hajj, an annual religious event in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Participants: A convenience sample of 70 personnel working in government ministries of Saudi Arabia (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Hajj, and Ministry of Interior) and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority involved in health management in Hajj, including policy formulation and implementation.

Main outcome measures: Perception and knowledge of health risks and outbreaks associated with Hajj.

Results: The majority of the respondents (60 percent) expressed concern about the potential for infection transmission during Hajj. The respondents also reported having or knowing a colleague, a friend, or a family member with a history of infection during or after Hajj. However, the respondents’ knowledge of the possible modes of infection of various diseases was limited.

Conclusions: Hajj is associated with various risks of outbreaks, and thus, better protection-enhancing measures are required. Training personnel involved in health management, including planners, coordinators, and healthcare providers, can help reduce the risks and prevent potential outbreaks.

Author Biographies

Abdulaiziz Mustafa Kheimi, MSc

Director, EMS Program, King Khalid University, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Saudi Arabia

Jean B. Bail, EdD, RN, MSN, CEN, EMT-P

Associate Professor, Disaster Medicine & Management Program Director, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Steven J. Parrillo, DO, FACOEP

Medical Director, Disaster Medicine & Management Program, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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How to Cite

Kheimi, A. M., J. B. Bail, and S. J. Parrillo. “Protection Enhancement Strategies of Potential Outbreaks During Hajj”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 19, no. 1, Feb. 2024, pp. 71-77, doi:10.5055/ajdm.0454.