Communication and Participation

Community Education in Monrovia

A Liberian Red Cross volunteer explaining the dangers of the Ebola virus and how to minimize the risks to members of the Crab Hole community in Monrovia on September 15, 2015. Photograph by Victor Lacken, IFRC

In an emergency response, communication is often the first line of defense. Fighting disease becomes less stressful when communities understand what they can do, when journalists report accurate information quickly, and when officials know how to communicate effectively. During a disease outbreak, communication strategies provide the essential bridge between science and the public—creating audience-tailored messages, spreading accurate information through the best channels, fighting rumors and stigma, and ensuring the response respects a community’s needs.

Throughout the West Africa epidemic, CDC and other global partners sent teams of experts in communication, education, anthropology, and behavioral science to help communities with low technology access the information they needed to protect themselves—through radio, posters and billboards, and face-to-face visits.  

Protect Yourself Poster

UNICEF poster used by Red Cross volunteers and others to spread the word about the Ebola virus.

The Story of Ebola animation, July 2015
Produced by Global Health Media Project, in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and UNICEF; Yoni Goodman, animator

This animation features a young girl whose grandfather dies from Ebola, and puts the rest of her family at risk. The goal of the film is to help people see and understand how Ebola spreads, and how to protect themselves.

5. Communication and Participation