WELCOME TO THE
REGIONAL CENTER FOR
SURVEILLANCE AND DISEASE CONTROL
RISK COMMUNICATION PLATFORM
In recent years, ECOWAS member states have faced extraordinary burdens from outbreaks of infectious diseases. The Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCSDC) was created as an Agency under the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) to improve preparedness and response efforts against future public health emergencies more…
Professor Stanley Okolo
Director General of the West African
Health Organisation (WAHO)
WHAT IS RISK COMMUNICATION?
Risk communication refers to the real-time exchange of information, advice and opinions between experts and people facing threats to their health, economic, and social wellbeing.
The purpose of risk communication is to enable people at risk to make informed decisions to mitigate – that is, to reduce – the effects of a threat or hazard and, in doing so, take protective and preventive action. Risk communication is not a one-off activity. It is an ongoing process that adapts to evolving situations.
Risk communication uses a mix of communication and engagement tactics to share information with people at risk and listen to their concerns. These tactics include mass communications – such as radio, print, and TV. Other tactics include conducting face-to-face meetings and establishing telephone hotlines. More and more, social media is becoming an important tool in risk communication.
Community engagement is the art of building two-way collaboration and communication with people at risk. Including people at risk in developing and implementing solutions. People who are affected by decisions and actions have a right to be involved in the decision-making process. Engaging at-risk communities in the development of acceptable solutions supports buy-in and community ownership.