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Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Module 3: IHR Risk Communication Capacity: Information.

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Presentation on theme: "Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Module 3: IHR Risk Communication Capacity: Information."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Module 3: IHR Risk Communication Capacity: Information Dissemination including media relations

2 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Risk Communication 1970s – risk issues emerged as central themes Investigations of risk perception and the role communication plays increased 3 main risk communication models: –Psychometric: key differences in risk perception between experts and the lay public –Socio-political: risk messages exist in a socio- political context and how they are received is determined by people's relation to power –Cultural: messages are interpreted though cultural frames of reference

3 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Risk Communication Old Model: One-way communication to inform New Model: Two-way communication to dialogue Old Objective: Warn of risk New Objective: Partnership to co-manage risk

4 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Risk communication Key variables in the public's tolerance of risk: -Perception of authorities concern -Whether or not impacts of problem are shared equitably -Voluntary or coerced -Manmade or natural -Information sharing by authorities -Responsiveness of decision making -Trustworthiness of those in charge

5 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Risk communication Key variables in the public's tolerance of risk: Trustworthiness of those in charge Components of trust: motives, honesty, competence Relative importance of openness, credibility and fairness 4X that of competence

6 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Case Study: Media Relations BSE: United Kingdom 1984 strange illness emerges in British cattle BSE identified and Ministers informed of new animal disease 1988 Report of independent committee: human health risk is remote Disease among cattle population spreads New research suggest other species at risk Independent experts warn of human risk Select school authorities ban beef High media attention

7 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Case Study: Media Relations BSE: United Kingdom UK Government position remains: "There is no risk to human health" Key agricultural sector: billions at-risk Agriculture Minister under pressure to reassure consumers, farmers, trading partners….. Minister's Communication strategy: Feed his 4 year old daughter beef on national TV

8 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Case Study: Media Relations BSE: United Kingdom Reassuring photo emerged in a specific context: –Government selective in the information released –Experts/Partners contradicting assessment of risk –Ignoring clear signs of elevating public risk perception Link between BSE and human health was acknowledged dead of vCJD Global ban on British beef Persistent, low trust in management of health issues 10 years after crisis

9 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Developing Messages Who is your audience? TRADING PARTNERS HEALTH WORKERS POLITICIANS MEDIA NGO PARTNERS OTHER MINISTRIES VICTIMS

10 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Developing Messages What do your audiences need or want to know? WHAT NEXT? FAIR AND EQUAL? ECONOMIC IMPACT? DECISION MAKING? ACCOUNT- ABILITY INFORMATION? RISK ASSESSMENT?

11 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Developing Messages Are the messages understandable? –Eg. Avoid jargon and technical language Are the messages complete, honest and open? –Eg. Acknowledge uncertainty –Eg. Acknowledge mistakes Are the messages respectful of concerns? –Concerns about their health –Concerns about fairness –Concerns about the future Are the messages sensitive to cultural practices? Do the messages express empathy for victims?

12 Pan American Health Organization World Health Organization Pandemic and Outbreak Communication PAHO/WHO Information Dissemination IHR Risk Communication Capacity: Information dissemination/media relations 1.Identify spokespersons and ensure risk communication training 2.Adopt risk communication message development templates and tools 3.Integrate communication channels to provide hard to reach groups with useful information


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