Communicable diseases (excl HIV-TB-Malaria)
This systematic review explored risk and crisis communication literature to examine how researchers have evaluated social media use in public crises. Twenty-four full-text articles were reviewed, the majority of which focused on natural disasters (n = 11). Studies were commonly descriptive in design (n = 21), used content analysis (n = 12), and examined the content and structure of messages (n = 18).
We assessed the effect of information sources on Ebola-specific knowledge and behavior during the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. We pooled data from 4 population-based knowledge, attitude, and practice surveys (August, October, and December 2014 and July 2015), with a total of 10,604 respondents.
'With no clear confirmation that the Zika virus causes microcephaly and a general lack of trust in the government against the background of Brazil undergoing severe economic and political crises, there is deep mistrust in official communications, and rumours of all kinds and origins are emerging across Brazil, on street corners as well as spreading rapidly through social media. In January, the Minister of Health (well known for his controversial comments) said Brazil was losing the fight against the mosquito.
This paper analyses the role of community engagement approaches in immunisation programmes. It finds that these programmes focus mainly on demand generation. Technology-based interventions may work but contextual factors should inform the programme design. The study also highlights implementation problems, which if not addressed, can lead to a lack of confidence in the programme. However, more studies are needed to identify what works in this regard.
We are all aware of the severe financial constraints under which WHO has to operate, including for its publications and information services. This important practical manual from WHO was published in January 2015. I would be interested to know if it might have been published much sooner, when it was most needed, if WHO had been properly supported financially. (I am constantly impressed by the volume and quality of publications produced by WHO, despite resource constraints.
'Four members of a polio immunization team have been found murdered after being kidnapped in southwest Pakistan, officials said Wednesday... Taliban militants claim that the polio vaccination drive is a front for espionage or a conspiracy to sterilise Muslims...'