Communication and Participation

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A Liberian Red Cross volunteer explaining the dangers of the Ebola virus and how to minimize the risks to members of the Crab Hole community in Monrovia on September 15, 2015. Photograph by Victor Lacken, IFRC

In an emergency response, communication is often the first line of defense. Fighting disease becomes less stressful when communities understand what they can do, when journalists report accurate information quickly, and when officials know how to communicate effectively. During a disease outbreak, communication strategies provide the essential bridge between science and the public—creating audience-tailored messages, spreading accurate information through the best channels, fighting rumors and stigma, and ensuring the response respects a community’s needs.

Throughout the West Africa epidemic, CDC sent teams of experts in communication, education, anthropology, and behavioral science to help communities with low technology access the information they needed to protect themselves—through radio, posters and billboards, and face-to-face visits.  

4. Communication and Participation