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Disaster preparedness of health professionals at mass gatherings: a scoping review

02 November 2023
Volume 15 · Issue 11


Mass gathering disasters involving large numbers of casualties can adversely affect the performance of healthcare systems. This scoping review aims to explore the current literature on the preparedness of health professionals for disasters during mass gathering events. Four databases were searched to identify papers examining health professionals' disaster preparedness during mass gatherings between 2011 and 2022. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis for Scoping Reviews was applied to undertake this review. A total of 2024 articles were identified, of which 18 qualified for inclusion in the scoping review. Some studies reported the level of professionals' preparedness for disaster management, while others reported strategies to enhance preparedness and challenges associated with disaster preparedness during mass gatherings. More studies are needed in this field to better understand the level of disaster preparedness of health professionals to improve response and management of potential disasters during mass gathering events.

In recent years, disaster preparation has become a growing area of research owing to the increasing incidence of disasters and the need to maintain health service provision in such situations (Kocak et al, 2021; Ciottone, 2023). According to the World Meteorological Organization (2021), weather-related disasters have increased fivefold over the past 50 years and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction projects that the 350–500 medium-to-large scale disasters occurring every year over the past five decades will rise to 560 by 2030 as a result of increasing human activity and behaviour changes such as agricultural practices, deforestation and land use change, fossil fuels for energy, transportation, and industry (World Health Organization (WHO), 2017). The impact of the increasing number of disasters potentially will place a higher burden on healthcare systems.

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