MOSCOW: With the 21st edition of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in 11 cities of the Russian Federation which will kick off from June 14, many people across the world are waiting eagerly to fly to the Russian Federation and cheer their home teams.
The Russian Federation's health authorities, supported by WHO/Europe are preparing for the event; together they have published public health advice to ensure the tournament is safe from public health risks, a WHO European Region report on Thursday said.
"Enjoying your favourite sport while keeping healthy is the game to win.It takes simple measures to make a difference to people's health," says Dr Nedret Emiroglu, Director of Programme Management and Director of the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases of WHO/Europe.
"We are working to have all football fans at FIFA 2018 healthy, and urge all to follow expert guidance," she said.
Travellers going to the country should obtain information about health hazards in the areas they plan to visit and the measures necessary to avoid or minimise the risk of disease or accidents.
Travellers should pay particular attention to the following risks: vaccine preventable diseases, vector-borne diseases, sexually transmitted infections, food- and water-borne diseases, smoking, alcohol and other drugs and high temperatures.
WHO, the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organising Committee have also produced a new video campaign targeting football fans to promote healthy lifestyles â covering tobacco use, excessive salt consumption and physical inactivity.
Mass gathering events, like the FIFA World Cup, bring together large numbers of people from different corners of the globe, and with it the potential for spread of infections and adoption of high-risk and unhealthy behaviours.
At the same time, mass gathering events also offer the momentum to promote healthy choices.
WHO provides advice and technical support to host governments preparing for mass gathering events.
As with other such events, WHO will conduct event-based surveillance and risk assessment in relation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The goal is to make large international events as safe as possible from public health risks and to encourage a positive public health legacy from these events.