Thoughts from Dr. Brendan Munn – WCDEM Pt. III

Unbelievable learning, networking, team building, sights and food in Cape Town!  Perfect weather and a chance to make some sense of the global Mass Gathering consortium, from large scale Olympics and FIFA logistics that deal with international visitors — and have concerns that reach as far as potential nuclear threats and Ebola dissemination — to smaller scale sporting and music events in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and Australia.  Riley anchored what was a first international presentation for both of us, on the medical response and harm reduction services at Shambhala Music Festival in BC, and we learned a ton on the side about the importance of stakeholder collaboration, adequately defined terms, pre-event planning and information sharing to prevent us all reinventing the wheel in our respective corners of the globe.
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Most impressive stat of the week : 150,000+ patient encounters for 10,000-100,000 person events have been catalogued in a database by the Belgian Red Cross folks already!  Data mining anyone?  Best learning tidbit of the week : “New” (at least to me) definition of Mass Gatherings as “Events attended by a sufficient number of people to stress local resources”.  Local highlight : scrambling up Lion’s Head twice and catching up with my old anesthesia colleagues over a Royale burger on Long Street (once the electricity finally came back on).  If you haven’t been to Cape Town, make sure you go as it is an incredibly beautiful and interesting city navigating its way through some unique challenges and history.  Thanks to everyone from the MGM delegation for making it so memorable!
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Hiking with old friends

Authored By:
Dr. Brendan Munn
Emergency Physician 
Mass Gathering Medicine Interest Group