Community engagement during outbreak

Community Engagement during disease outbreak

Social, medical and political are three aspects that are intimately intertwined with disease outbreaks. We are seeing and witnessing social media impact, political response and medical aspects of the current COVID-19 outbreak. To address the social aspects of epidemics, we need community engagement. To contain the disease, we need public health interventions and to achieve that we need community support. This is possible by three elements (WHO):

1. Establishing a dialogue between responders and communities to understand the perceptions and beliefs on both sides, to identify the specific cultural and social patterns of transmission that exist at community level.

2. Building trust through this mutual understanding to find joint solutions to reduce transmission.

3. Empowering communities, providing them with necessary medical and other supplies to implement the measures required to stop the disease, and progressively transferring knowledge for sustained and safe interventions within the community.

Image credit: Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels
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Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: March 18, 2020

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