Identify a case study from the research literature on a recent disease outbreak or humanitarian disaster. Describe how the concepts of community mobilization, citizen engagement, and emergency communication discussed in your textbook were applied in this case study. In your opinion, what are the most important factors to consider when communicating during a public health emergency or crisis?
Please answer with a minimum of 300 words. Please cite any and all references used. The attached reference has a link attached for the material needed to answer the question.
Santibañez, S., Siegel, V., O’Sullivan, M., Lacson, R., & Jorstad, C. (2015). Health communications and community mobilization during an Ebola response: Partnerships with community and faith-based organizations. Public health reports (Washington, D.C.: 1974), 130(2), 128–133.
Expert Solution Preview
The outbreak of any disease or crisis requires efficient communication, community mobilization, and citizen engagement to ensure appropriate measures are taken to mitigate the situation. This question asks to identify a case study from the research literature on a recent disease outbreak or humanitarian disaster, describe the application of community mobilization, citizen engagement, and emergency communication in the case, and highlight the crucial factors to consider when communicating during a public health emergency or crisis.
The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa in 2014-15 was one of the deadliest outbreaks in history, and the response required efficient communication, community mobilization, and citizen engagement. Health Communications and Community Mobilization during an Ebola response: Partnerships with community and faith-based organizations, published in Public Health Reports, discusses the measures taken in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to address the outbreak.
The article reports that various approaches were utilized to mobilize communities to respond to the outbreak. One of the methods included engaging with traditional leaders who played significant roles in the communities to encourage them to promote hand hygiene and other preventive measures. Furthermore, social mobilization initiatives such as drama and music were used to communicate prevention measures to communities in remote locations.
To ensure efficient communication, the media, including radio, was used to mobilize communities to engage in preventive measures. The message on the radio programs aimed at educating communities on how to protect themselves from Ebola by observing hygiene measures or call designated hotlines when they observed any symptoms.
In my opinion, implementing efficient communication in public health emergencies requires the use of multiple channels to reach everyone in a community. The channels should be culturally sensitive and tailored to reach different language speakers, age groups, and the illiterate population. Additionally, quick communications and updates on the situation’s progress and the measures being taken by the public health sector will help restore confidence in the government’s ability to manage the situation.
In conclusion, efficient communication, community mobilization, and citizen engagement are crucial in mitigating public health emergencies. The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is a representation of how mobilizing communities and efficient communication can be used to address a crisis. Success in addressing public health emergencies requires cooperation between communities and the government and the use of various approaches to engage the public.