On 6 September 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a new Emergency Risk Communication (ERC) package, which is aimed at guiding countries in the European region towards developing an ERC tailored to their specific contexts.
WHO believe the following five steps will make a difference to how effectively risks are communicated during health emergencies:
- training to build homogeneous capacity based on a country’s priority hazards
- capacity-mapping to identify needs and gaps in view of strengthening in-country ERC
- plan-writing to develop a multi-hazard ERC plan based on a WHO template
- plan-testing through multi-sectoral simulation and tabletop exercises
- plan adoption to update the national ERC plan and integrate it into national preparedness and response plans
The first phase of the ERC project, financed by the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany, focused on working closely with 13 countries of the region to pilot the five-step capacity-building package at different stages. A newly released report details this phase, which targeted Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.
The second implementation phase of the five-step package has been underway since March 2018, providing continued support to pilot countries and territories and expanding to other priority countries in the region. The package can be viewed on the WHO Europe website.
Source: WHO Europe, 6 September 2018.