Strengthening health security by implementing the International Health Regulations (2005)

Mass gatherings

Crowds cheer on cyclists in final stretch of Tour de Timor, Dili (Timor-Leste).
UN Photo/Martine Perret

The influx of large numbers of people to mass gathering events may give rise to specific public health risks. WHO provides planning and operational support for public health preparedness to organizers of mass gatherings. The recognition of the benefit for WHO’s work in mass gatherings was endorsed by the Executive Board Resolution, January 2012.

Support for Mass Gatherings addresses the broad range of risks and opportunities that mass gatherings have for global health security. Mass gatherings can provide an opportunity to strengthen IHR core capacities and public health systems. However, they can also introduce new and challenging risks that need to be managed.

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Hajj 2016

1437 Hajj season starts from 9 September to 14 September. Requirements and recommendations for entry visa for the Hajj seasons in 2016 have been published in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Report (WER).

Health information on the Hajj is available at the Ministry of Health website at

2016 RIO Olympics

  • The 2016 Rio Olympic Games ended on 21 August.
  • WHO provided technical support to the Ministry of Health, Brazil and International Olympic Committee to ensure public health safety during the games for various public health issues including improving the recreational water quality and international spread of Zika virus disease.
  • In summary, there have been no significant events of international public health concerns to date.
  • The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games will be held in Rio from 7 to 18 September.
  • WHO/PAHO continues to provide technical support to the Ministry of Health to ensure the Games are safe as possible from public health risks and to ensure positive health legacy from these events.
  • Travellers to the Paralympic Games should consult the recommendations by WHO and their national authorities.