This article describes evidence-based recommendations for utilizing risk communication as a powerful intervention.
One of the most essential, but challenging, emergency interventions during a pandemic is risk communication. It is imperative to ensure real-time exchange of information between public health experts, government officials, and at-risk populations. This allows people an opportunity to understand and adopt protective behaviors. To assist with this process, the World Health Organization (WHO) published evidence-based guidance on the policy and practice of emergency risk communication. A summary of recommendations includes:
- Building trust and engaging with affected populations (this includes communicating uncertainty)
- Integrating emergency risk communication into health and emergency response systems (this includes coordinating information systems and designating strategic roles)
- Planning strategic risk communication practices (this includes using consistent, understandable messaging through preferred social media and traditional channels)