‘Risk Communication’ key to effective information dissemination of DOH
DAVAO CITY, May, 14 (PIA) – The Department of Health Davao Center for Health Development (DOH DCHD), based on experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, refined and tailor-fit the mode of information dissemination for the whole of Region 11. The Health Authorities in the region are employing proper risk communication to convey to residents the appropriate awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yasuy Avila, the Health Education and Promotions Officer for the DOH DCHD, discussed how a two-fold approach is needed when addressing the challenge of delivering information pertaining to public health safety measures and that of the current status of COVID-19 in the Davao Region.
“When we do risk communication, we do two things. It’s either we scare the people, or we re-assure them,” Avila said.
Avila also outlined how the DOH DCHD progressed in terms of refining their communication strategy as the spread of the disease progressed throughout these past months. The DOH DCHD Health Education and Promotions Officer stressed how adaptive communication approaches were necessary due to the changes in the public health status in the region were observed by health authorities.
“When we started ang scare sa tao taas kayo. So, what we did is we re-assured them that the government is on top of this. Karon nga diria sa atong region, ubay-ubay na ang mga kaso …. so we used the figures para ipa-realize sa public na ‘this is real’ – naa na jud ni sa atong mga komyunidad (When we started the fear amongst the people was prevalent. So, what we did is we re-assured them that the government is on top of this. Now that our region has a high number of cases, we used the figures to make the public realize the reality and proximity of the disease to our communities), Avila added.
To put communication strategies into effect, the DOH DCHD partnered with vital sectors in the region that were all tasked to build up public awareness and effectively impart necessary measures in curbing the spread of COVID-19.
“We have good partnerships with our Media, the PIA, Church Leaders…ang atuang gina buhat ron na information drive is media based kaayo siya (…our information drive is very media based),” Avila said
Given that not all communities have the proper infrastructure to be covered by major media outlets, and majority of available mode of information delivery, the DOH DCHD is employing tried and tested approaches for the delivery of information.
“Aduna ta’y mga rekorida – kanang naay mag tuyok-tuyok na mga sakyanan to do the information drive – usahay sa pag naa’y mangahatag pud ug kaayuhan – gina suksok nila ang mga pamphlets didto sa mga bugas (We employ rekorida – where we have motor vehicles do rounds in communities to do the information drive – sometimes where there are donation drives, they attach our pamphlets in donated goods),” Avila discussed. (PIA XI/KPLCaro)