Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Thursday, 24 December 2009
Friday, 25 December 2009 04:13

The Formula of Risk Communication


Drawing on his clinical experience, Professor Soebandrio demonstrated how communicating risk is similar to preparing medicine:
Must find an indicator – just as a patient demonstrates symptoms, so does a community. Considering the symptoms, the doctor decides on further action and in the same way a government will consider the need to communicate.
Ingredient – patients can have differing reactions to medicine and communities demonstrate the same variability to public health messages. The content of the message might need to vary from country to country.
Dose – how much information should we give? If too much medicine is administered the patient will not heal, if the public is bombarded with public health messages people will stop listening.
Method and route of administration – just as medicines and medical technology have evolved, so to have communication methods. This does not necessarily mean that traditional methods should be ignored at the expense of modern methods.
Duration – when to start and stop, when to follow up. The duration of a course of treatment is integral to a patient’s well being; too short a treatment and the illness will linger, too long a treatment and the effectiveness may be comprised. Medicine is administered to improve one’s condition, not to provide a new burden. This logic is transferable to risk communication.


Friday, 25 December 2009 03:55

Communication and its Contradictions

Ms Leboeuf wove previous speakers themes together to sharply illustrate two recent examples in France during the H1N1 outbreak.
An apparently arbitrary decision to not close infants’ schools even if cases of H1N1 were reported, reversing a previous decree that schools must be closed if three cases are detected, indicated the importance of ensuring that relevant information is communicated and that bureaucracies must be flexible enough to deal with new crises rather than rely on previous models of action.
Her second example described a situation whereby H1N1 vaccines were initially available to strictly defined groups and then later to broader groups. While this change in process was not official, people seeking vaccination still had to present a case as to why they should be vaccinated. This meant the boundary was no longer strictly medical and bureaucratic, but had expanded to be negotiable, thereby introducing additional layers of complexity and power.
Ms Leboeuf noted that medical professionals now must remind patients that although what they have been advised is true for today, it might not be true for tomorrow. This is a departure from established patterns of medical advice.

Distributing contraception to Pakistan’s large rural population has been a challenge for Glaxo Smith Kline. Rather than utilise the increasingly popular social networking sites and other digital media, the company has successfully resorted to less technologically sophisticated methods. Glaxo Smith Kline has utilised radio advertising to reach and mobilise the rural sector. Radio is part of an integrated communication model that also includes interpersonal and community mobilization through activities such as marketplace interviews and roadshows.
Glaxo Smith Kline was particularly successful in distributing and encouraging use of contraception. Realising that the information provided with contraception medication was in small print and hard to read, serving no purpose other than “basically to frighten the consumer”, the company began circulating cassettes, recorded in local dialects, that answered frequently asked questions about the medication.

Download here the complete presentation in PDF

Friday, 25 December 2009 02:26

Communication in a Time of Crisis

Communication is part of the process of the revelation of truths. A truth is not a given fact as the reaction of the public influences what the truth is. This is the relationship between observed and the observation. The nature of a truth to be communicated can be changed. It is a systemic (that is, linguistic and symbolic) exchange in which dimensions of information, education, manipulation and public debate take place.
Communication in a time of crisis can only be understood when put in the context of one of the channels through which society today is able to be in identity and in solidarity and in submission in different spheres of time – the future and the crisis. Those dimensions must be considered together as the worst mistake is to concentrate on short time spans during the time of crisis without taking into account the long, slow and meaningful process through which civic societies and public actors today are willing to find a meaningful interaction that is creative of new solidarities and consensus.

Thursday, 24 December 2009 20:37

Mount Zion and Typhoon Morakot (Part I)

Mount Zion in Kaohsiung County is the home of the New Testament Church and, as the church believes, venue for the tribulation.
Mount Zion was damaged during Typhoon Morakot and seven church members lost their lives. While this was a great disaster for the family and friends of the deceased, the church sees them as saints who worked for the glory of God up until their death and have now ascended to heaven, thereby setting an example for their fellow church members.

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