Background

In an emergency situation, health care managers, population and media are all requested to respond rapidly and effectively to maintain or restore normal condition, allowing access to health care for the affected population. This is possible only if extensive preparedness planning programmes are in place and if communication tools and guidelines are available in advance for the all actors. For this reason, training and capacity building efforts aimed to develop the professional skills in crisis communication and management within a community or an organization are becoming really important, for the entire society.

Strengthening crisis communication and management capacities in health systems in the WHO European Region has become a major concern for the EU, especially taking into account the following recent global trends:

  • An increasing number of health crises and disasters Growing social & economic losses – long term consequences for vulnerable societies;

  • During the past 20 years, disasters have killed at least three million people; adversely affecting 800 million more;

  • Health is a major concern and a priority in the crisis management.

On the other side, as showed in recent emergency situation, establishing effective communication channels among all the actors involved in an emergency has been proved to be an important instrument to allow a quick and efficient response to the crisis situation. Guarantying a continue exchange of information among health authorities, population and media, using different communication channels (social networks, blogs, online magazines and other web portals) is essential to manage an emergency in the most effective way.

Based on these facts and emerging trends, it was identified a relevant need to design a training course from a functional point of view, focusing on different professionals’ competencies and including a special focus on how to use new communication channels in an emergency situation. There’s a real need to increase the competences of the health sector staff.

The innovative approach of the training course focused on how health authorities can improve the cooperation with the others actors involved in the emergency (normally the population and the media) in order to deal with the emergencies condition in the best and quickest way. Furthermore, the HEALTH C training course aims also to encourage the use by health authorities of different communication tools and channels (social networks, blogs, online magazines and other web portals) that are commonly used by the other actors involved in the emergency: population and media.