TEPHINET Supports Emergency Risk Communication Training for Zika-affected Regions in the Caribbean

When public health practitioners respond to a health emergency, it is critical that they incorporate an effective risk communications strategy within their response so that the public can learn and understand how best to protect themselves against the health threat. From May 17-18, 2017, TEPHINET supported an Emergency Risk Communication (ERC) Training for Zika-affected Regions in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for 38 participants. The goals of this training workshop were as follows:

  • To manage the challenge of transparency associated with emergency risk communication, especially in balancing economic impacts and how to negotiate and advocate the use of an appropriate risk communication response
  • To manage communication cooperation and collaboration among different stakeholders and to manage rumors that result from inconsistent and unclear recommendations
  • To determine appropriate ERC strategies to deal with low risk perception, concern and interest in order to strengthen community engagement with culturally and socially acceptable interventions and tools
  • To use effective risk communication plans and strategies in response to media and social media demands

In partnership with The Warning Project, TEPHINET co-developed the workshop training materials. TEPHINET also provided financial and travel logistics support to 20 of the 38 workshop participants and event planning support for the overall event. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The next workshop will take place in Haiti from July 25-26, 2017.