The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched in February 2014 to advance a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats, to bring together nations from all over the world to make new, concrete commitments, and to elevate global health security as a national leaders-level priority.
GHSA acknowledges the essential need for a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach to strengthen both the global capacity and nations’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases threats whether naturally occurring, deliberate, or accidental – capacity that once established would mitigate the devastating effects of Ebola, MERS, other highly pathogenic infectious diseases, and bioterrorism events.
An essential part of keeping countries safe and secure from infectious disease threats is enabling people to make decisions to protect themselves and those around them. This may include educating the public about what symptoms to look for, how and when to report illness in family members, what to do when a family member may be or is diagnosed as infected, and how to prevent disease and infection in the first place. This is sometimes known as Risk Communication.
From the risk manager’s perspective, the purpose of risk communication is to help residents of affected communities understand the processes of risk assessment and management, to form scientifically valid perceptions of the likely hazards, and to participate in making decisions about how risk should be managed. Risk communication tools are written, verbal, or visual statements containing information about risk.
In this Trending Topic, the Compass provides a variety of proven tools for risk communication (listed below under “Tools”) and examples of risk communication efforts in specific country settings (listed below under “Examples.”)
We welcome your contributions to this effort. Please contribute your own materials!
A young girl at a celebration for the lifting of an Ebola quarantine in Kambia, Sierra Leone. © 2015 Samuel Boland, Courtesy of Photoshare