May 21, 2014
Biggest Public Health Challenge At London 2012 Olympics Was Reassuring Politicians And The Media That There Were No Health Threats
In this Review, researchers led by Dr Brian McCloskey, who coordinated the Health Protection Agency's seven year preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games, report that although no major public health incidents arose during the Games, the biggest challenge was reassuring the organizing committee, government, media, and the public that there were no health-protection concerns.
According to Dr McCloskey, "Demand for information about any possible risk to the Games and to the reputation of the host country is huge. Politicians and decision makers often seek reassurance that nothing is happening—this negative finding is not easily and reliably obtained from routine surveillance systems because they are not primarily designed to prove that nothing is happening. So these systems need to be reviewed and enhanced to fulfil this role effectively. The good thing is that these enhanced systems are then a positive legacy for the host country."