Protection enhancement strategies of potential outbreaks during Hajj

Am J Disaster Med. 2024;19(1):71-77. doi: 10.5055/ajdm.0454.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks* / prevention & control
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Islam
  • Public Health*
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Travel