Disease outbreaks are unpredictable. However, timely communication of the same can help in promoting public health. This would allow least possible disruption to the normal course of life of a country and its people.
Outbreak communication guidelines in this regard can help promote the goal of preventing health hazards on a massive scale, reaffirming people’s faith in the public health officials and preventing delayed outbreak control.
Some of the guidelines which can help in effective outbreak communication are –
Announcing well in time
Transparency characterises relationship between outbreak managers and the public. Therefore, questions must not be left unanswered.
Benefits of transparency
Understanding emotions of public
Understanding the public is important because it is difficult to change their beliefs.
Public health officials must plan outbreak communication as a part of outbreak management plan. It must not look like a last minute preparation.
Delayed communication can damage a nation’s credibility in saving people’s lives. So, planning in this regard becomes a vital part of outbreak communication.
If the above guidelines are implemented and executed as planned then it will result in greater and quality participation from the public. This in turn would help in controlling outbreak of any disease and limit mortality rate.
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