Running head: RISK COMMUNICATION
Risk communication is the process of conveying real-time information as opinion and
advice between professionals or persons facing economic or health threats or a threat to their
social well being. Notably, the fundamental goal of the risk communication is to enable the
people facing the risk to make decisions from an informed standpoint in order to protect
themselves as well as their loved ones from the risk (Coppola & Maloney, 2017). This paper
analyzes the risk communication during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa region that worst hit
Liberia and the neighboring countries. It is apparent that people from different countries visit
West Africa and Liberia in particular through the airports or by road. In addition, the spread of
this virus is very fact and thus risk communication was critical to ensure that many people are
well informed about the spread of the virus as well as the necessary measures individuals need to
take in order to protect themselves and others from the killer disease.
Risk Communication during Ebola Epidemic in West Africa
It is apparent to highlight that Ebola is one of the killer diseases requiring fast response.
In addition, Ebola virus spread easily from one person to the other when one contacts any body
fluid from an infected person. In this regard, therefore, in order to manage the crisis during the
pandemic in West Africa, the health crisis and emergency response team managed to
demonstrate their efficacy in various ways (Giorgadze & Kirsten, 2016). Firstly, while noting
that the public depends on their communication to protect themselves from the disease, the
health experts were first to respond to the epidemic with accurate information relating to the
disease. It is apparent that most of the locals could not tell the kind of disease invading their
homes and affecting their loved ones. Therefore, the response team gave accurate information
upon getting on the ground. Further, the team showed empathy to the audience while showing
respect and promoting trust and hope for the restoration of the situation.
Notably, the efficiency in any risk communication depends on the level of public
involvement and the adequacy of response planning as well as the evaluation of the efforts in
dealing with the risk. In this regard, all the stakeholders in the Ebola pandemic were keen on
their undertakings and they recognized the need to involve the public (Giorgadze & Kirsten,
2016). In this regard, the team listened to the concerns of the public with empathy while
demonstrating honesty and openness. In mitigating the risk, the response team managed to
collaborate with various institutions including the media in order to meet the needs of the public.
Notably, the exercise demonstrated compassionate, clear and effective communication.
It is noteworthy that the efficiency in the control Ebola pandemic in West Africa required
robust leadership with precise, accurate and right decision-making procedures. In order to arrive
at the best decision, the leaders with the help of the USAID (United States Agency for
International Development) classified the information received as rumors and genuine
appropriately (Frieden & Damon, 2015). It is notable that during a crisis, many people are likely
to speak out rumors while others could give the right information. During the pandemic,
healthcare organizations learned that the rumors and misinformation circulating in the social
media and word of mouth unfurled panic and chaos amongst the public despite the disordered
information environment and the fragile health system (White, 2016). In conjunction with the
Liberian Red Cross, Project Concern International, and UNICEF, the Internews launched a
Rumor Tracking System that greatly helped the media in tracking and combating the rumors
circulating in the public domain (White, 2016). In this way, the leaders were able to identify the
rumors from the right information and act according.
As part of the campaign, the leadership us...