The Arbaeen Pilgrimage is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, which is held on the 40th day of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the third Imam of Shia. According to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), mass gathering refers to a structured or spontaneous event held with the participation of at least 25,000 people at a specific site for a certain duration and purpose (1). More than 20 million people from all around the world march towards Imam Hussein’s shrine in Karbala within 10 to 20 days. The pilgrims walk hundreds of kilometers for a few days to reach Karbala. Religious organizations and the general public are the main providers of water, food, shelter, residence, and treatment facilities for pilgrims.
- World Health Organization. Public health for mass gatherings: Key considerations. WHO; 2015.
- Lami F, Radhi F, Al Dahhan S, Hashim RA, Mahmood H, Araj R, et al. Knowledge, attitude, and practices of food handlers on food safety and personal hygiene during Arbaeenia Mass Gathering, Baghdad, Iraq, 2014: Cross-sectional study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2019;5(4). e10922. doi: 10.2196/10922. [PubMed: 31599735]. [PubMed Central: PMC6811768].
- Lami F, Asi W, Khistawi A, Jawad I. Syndromic surveillance of communicable diseases in mobile clinics during the Arbaeenia Mass Gathering in Wassit Governorate, Iraq, in 2014: Cross-sectional study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2019;5(4). e10920. doi: 10.2196/10920. [PubMed: 31593544]. [PubMed Central: PMC6803892].
- Lami F, Hameed I, Arbaji A. Assessment of temporary community-based health care facilities during Arbaeenia Mass Gathering at Karbala, Iraq: Cross-sectional survey study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2019;5(4). e10905. doi: 10.2196/10905. [PubMed: 31588911]. [PubMed Central: PMC6800459].
- Lami F, Hameed I, Jewad AW, Khader Y, Amiri M. Real-time surveillance of infectious diseases and other health conditions during Iraq's Arbaeenia Mass Gathering: Cross-sectional study. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2019;5(4). e14510. doi: 10.2196/14510. [PubMed: 31588905]. [PubMed Central: PMC6913767].