This research article demonstrates the significant improvements of China’s risk communication capacities since the SARS outbreak in 2003 and provides suggestions for other countries’ long-term risk communication capacity building efforts.
Lessons learned from China’s risk communication capacity following the SARS epidemic are beneficial, particularly for lower- and middle-income countries and their capacity building programs. Government and public health officials must communicate effectively to frontline health care providers, field epidemiologists, and the public. To effectively communicate with these groups, leaders must communicate rapidly, using terminology understood by the target audience via preferred communication channels. They must also recognize and address barriers to health protection practices. Consistent messaging from all collaborators is key.