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PUBH2011 Global Health Question: Instructions: You are currently working for a local health authority in a country (or a particular region/state within a country) of your choice. There has been an outbreak of an infectious disease in your local area. You may choose an infectious disease to focus on such as the Big Five infectious diseases: Pneumonia, Diarrhoea, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, or Influenza, Ebola, Zika, Polio, and Pertussis. The extent of the risk to the community is, at present, uncertain. Task: You have been asked to prepare a communication action plan, as part of the development of a larger undertaking – disease outbreak response plan. You will need to make reference to the how the assessment of the risk to the community will be undertaken and how the communication plan forms an important part of that exercise. Your paper should include: An explanation of how the assessment of the risk to the community will be undertaken. Identification of key stakeholders who will be included in determining the risk, and in communicating the risk. Factors that will be considered in order to build trust with the community when communicating the risk. Steps in risk communication. Potential pitfalls from poor risk communication. Answer: Introduction  Health experts in Australia have urged people across communities at risk of tuberculosis to get tested so that the killer disease can be kept at bay. Tuberculosis is the infectious disease that has the impact on lungs, resulting in excessive coughing and high fever. Though the disease was endemic in rural areas previously, it is widely prevalent across urban areas ta present too. Though it might be thought that the disease had been eradicated, the same is not the case at present. Australian health professionals have the knowledge and the diagnostics; still, the disease is prevalent since there is a lack of robust public communication (Bareja et al., 2011). The present paper is on a communication plan/risk assessment plan that aims to achieve success through the evidence-based strategies. Methods To Assess Risk To The Community The risk assessment process would be undertaken to identify the severity of Tuberculosis as prevalent among the community. The first step of the risk assessment process would be to identify the data related to both current trends as well as trends of the past from historical information. The data elements that are to be collected are incident times and rates, incident types, incident locations, areas of origin, mortality rates, response times. A community profile would be created on the basis of demographic information; gender, age, income, education, race, ethnicity, housing, and cultural and social information. For the community, the information can be available from a variety of sources. All of these sources would provide the required information to highlight the risk that the community is at. Once the data has been collected, it is crucial to distill the data as per the reliability and construct a decipherable and legible document. The document is to be reviewed timely for understanding the further health care needs in association with tuberculosis (Brownson et al., 2017). Identification Of Key Stakeholders Involved In Identifying The Risk Relevant and important community partners and stakeholders would be the valuable resources for the process of carrying out the risk assessment and communication plan. They would be the most affected by the incidence of tuberculosis outbreak and would engage in creating strategies for mitigating risks and preventing the cause of the disease. The stakeholders who would be providing the information would be the state and county government, non-profit organisations, health care settings and neighbourhood associations. The support and collaboration from all these stakeholders, at all levels, would be indispensable for the proposed risk assessment and communication plan. At the heart of the process would be the public of the community, whose support would be also essential to the make the process successful. The help that the community can put forward needs to be explored to the fullest so that the needs of the community are addressed at the earliest. Consideration Of Factors To Build Trust Within The Community When Communicating The Risk The overriding aim for communication of the risk of tuberculosis development is the robust communication with the public in a way that builds, maintains and restores trust. This holds true across political systems, cultures and level of community development. Senior management of the public health organisation needs to put the emphasis on endorsing this goal. All the practical barriers are to be overcome that come across effective communication. Since trust between community and organisation is critical, the first step that is essential is to understand the reason why the public has a trust issue. All conflicts of interests are to be resolved with a proactive attitude. Methods of accountability, transparency and involvement are significant for establishing and maintaining trust. These are especially valuable for gradually rebuilding trust. Permitting high-profile critics for overseeing decision-making and public participation has been found to increase trust (, 2005). Steps In Risk Communication Effective risk communication is a primitive element of tuberculosis management. As the public is at high risk of developing the disease, communication and guidance would stand out to be the most effective pubic health tool for managing the risk. The following are the steps for risk communication- Assessment- An assessment is to be conducted of the already existing public communication capacity. The research on community understanding would need to be reviewed, such as literacy levels, demographics, language commonly used, cultural backgrounds and socio-economic backgrounds of the community members. Coordination- The potential public communication partners are to be identified, and a communication coordination mechanism needs to be developed. Transparency- It is after that necessary to put in place a guideline or national level policy for the pubic announcement. The ongoing release of information would be crucial when the information is on suspected level of tuberculosis and the events of verified incidents. Listening to the public- A system is to be developed for ongoing information gathering about the outbreak incidents, public attitudes, thoughts, behaviours and perceptions regarding the risk of tuberculosis. The involved organisations are also to be involved in this process. Communication evaluation- It is to be ensured that a robust mechanism is made for identifying the communication weakness and strengths at the time of tuberculosis events. Construction of emergency communication plan- A written emergency communication plan would be desirable at this stage. The public media, such as newspaper, radio and television would be the central media channels to be explored. Training- The last step would be to ensure that readiness in approach is prevalent through establishment of a risk communication training program. This would include exercises and simulations for testing the emergency public communication plan and the associated components (, 2008). Potential Pitfalls From Poor Risk Communication The pitfalls from ineffective risk communication are multi-faceted. If communication is not there, the approach towards combating tuberculosis would not be widespread. Communication between all levels would also not be achieved that can pave the way for building systems for health monitoring. Without communication in place, authorities cannot take the advantage of present resources so that they can put forward recommendations that are scalable and flexible as per the needs of the public (Infanti et al., 2013). Conclusion  With the proposed risk assessment and communication plan, it is expected that the prevalence of tuberculosis can be mitigated. A pro-active communication plan would encourage the public for adopting a protective behaviour and would certainly facilitate disease surveillance. It can be further expected that the plan would permit allocation and utilisation of available resources, much needed for the effective response. References Bareja, C., Waring, J., Stapledon, R., Toms, C., & Douglas, P. (2014). Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2011. Commun Dis Intell, 38(4), E356-E368. Brownson, R. C., Baker, E. A., Deshpande, A. D., & Gillespie, K. N. (2017). Evidence-based public health. Oxford University Press. Infanti, J. J., Sixsmith, J., & Barry, M. M. (2013). A literature review on effective risk communication for the prevention and control of communicable diseases in Europe. ECDC. WHO Outbreak communication guidelines. (2005). Retrieved 30 June 2017, from World Health Organization Outbreak Communication Planning Guide. (2008). Retrieved 30 June 2017, from

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