The Importance of Social and Behavioral Change Response in the Zika Outbreak: Lessons Learned from Ebola

The experience with the Ebola outbreak taught the SBCC community that even though guidance was offered on participatory community engagement at the onset of outbreaks including Ebola and other Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. The public health community has missed key opportunities to work hand in hand with affected communities and trusted members from the start. Messages are not enough; participatory involvement to shape the messages and the response is also required.

Communities need to be acknowledged as the frontline in fighting disease outbreaks. Investing in proactive and participatory inquiries will help create robust, effective responses. Local organizations in the affected countries are ready and able to support the participatory engagement of communities.

This document outlines steps to be taken by the donor community, government and policymakers, and national and international NGOs.

Last modified: October 21, 2021

Language: English