Publication Date
Publication Date: 
July 20, 2016

From the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), this web-based multimedia package explores social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) in the context of a public health crisis. Presented in a gallery-style format, the multimedia retrospective on the role communication played during the Ebola crisis in Liberia features animation, maps, video, and audio clips as well as narrative text. The digital resource demonstrates how SBCC can help combat rumours and misinformation, provide answers from trusted sources, calm fears, bring together stakeholders for a coordinated response, and combat stigma.

For example, video interviews with HC3's Liberia team in Monrovia recollect their work with Liberian Ministry of Health officials and partners on the ground and help show the trajectory of the crisis and evolution of messaging and materials development. SMS (text messaging)-based research used during the crisis (advantageous for rapid data collection and analysis as well as eliminating the need to send researchers door-to-door) is highlighted, as well as the results of that research, which helped formulate messaging and communication strategies. DeySey, the rumour-tracking initiative conducted by HC3 partner Internews, is described in an interview with Ben Togbah Jr., a radio reporter for Radio Joy Africa Kakata in Margibi County. As noted here: "Radio was a critical channel for SBCC messages during the Ebola outbreak. HC3 produced six radio spots about Ebola in partnership with the Ministry of Health that aired in 18 local languages on 32 radio stations throughout the country....The Ebola Community Action Platform also trained community radio stations to report their own stories and record their own Ebola spots."

A gallery of communication materials developed for Ebola is included, as is a gallery of materials for another public health challenge: Zika.

"Reflecting on the trajectory of the outbreak underscores the need to incorporate SBCC in risk communication and emergency preparedness planning. While experimental vaccine trials for Ebola are now underway in West Africa and the health systems are undergoing an overhaul there, SBCC was all that was available at the start of the crisis in Spring 2014. SBCC can be applied to other emerging health threats such as Zika, as it has successfully been applied to existing threats like HIV/AIDS, malaria, child survival and maternal mortality."

Source: 

"Ebola: A Behavior-Driven Crisis", by Marla Shaivitz, July 20 2016.

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