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Risk communications for public health emergencies: what to learn from real-life events

Source(s):  Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

This report summarizes the results from ASEF Public Health Network's workshop, “Risk Communications for Public Health Emergencies: What to Learn from Real-life Events”, held on 2-3 October 2014, in Oslo, Norway. The report elaborates on the 3 presentations of real-life public health emergencies in recent years: Christchurch earthquake in 2011; SARS (2000), H5N1 and H1N1 (2009) in Singapore; and Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.

The report also documents main points from working group discussions and the mock press conference statements from a simulation exercise. It states that public communication should focus on preparedness (understanding the level of public knowledge and misunderstanding) and awareness education.

The workshop brought together communication experts from government agencies, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the media. It generated several approaches to communicating risks in public health emergencies, mainly involving top influencers in risk communications to reach target audiences, integrating the media and the community into the emergency risk planning process, and developing an open-source big data management system for health-related risk communications.



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  • Risk communications for public health emergencies: what to learn from real-life events
  • Publication date 2015
  • Number of pages 28 p.

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