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2021, vol. 38, iss. 2, pp. 177-182
COVID-19 outbreak: How the public health network could function better in disseminating information and instruction for action: Lessons learned
aUniveristy of Niš, Faculty of Medicine + Public Health Institute Niš, Niš
bUniveristy of Niš, Faculty of Medicine
cPublic Health Institute Niš, Niš
The priority for the period of COVID-19 outbreak was to provide fast, well-timed dissemination of information to the general population (especially vulnerable groups) as well to health professionals and professionals from other areas of public life (police, army, local governments, education, and the business sector) on behavior change and prevention measures, in terms of guidance for the current epidemiological situation. At the Public Health Institute Niš, Serbia, we directed activities relying primarily on formal intervention approaches, WHO guidance and on information and knowledge gained at the April 2019 WHO "Emergency Risk Communication training and plan-writing workshop" in Belgrade/Serbia. To define the advantages and disadvantages of the applied method for dissemination of information, we followed the reporting guidance contained in Duncan E and colleagues', Guidance for reporting intervention development studies in health research (GUIDED). Guidelines for treatment and recommendations were disseminated through standard communication channels. A local public health network with a large number of partners from the governmental and non-governmental sector, established in recent years, was a kind of channel for dissemination of materials. We realized that formal intervention approaches should be rapidly improved by better mapping of all population groups, by modern ways of communication, by urgent introduction of digital communication channels such as telemedicine, smart phone engagement and internet applications, in order to educate and exchange information more efficiently and quickly, especially in crisis situations such as COVID-19 epidemics/pandemics.
Aslan, D., Sayek, I. (2020) We Need to Rethink on the Medical Education for Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons Learnt From COVID-19. Balkan Medical Journal, 37(4): 178-179
Duncan, E., O'Cathain, A., Rousseau, N., Croot, L., Sworn, K., Turner, K.M., Yardley, L., Hoddinott, P. (2020) Guidance for reporting intervention development studies in health research (GUIDED): an evidence-based consensus study. BMJ Open, 10(4): e033516-e033516
Lancet, T. (2020) COVID-19: Too little, too late?. Lancet, 395(10226):755
Tokuç, B., Varol, G. (2020) Medical Education in Turkey in the Time of COVID-19. Balkan Medical Journal, 37: 180-181
WHO (2017) Communicating risk in public health emergencies: A WHO guideline for emergency risk communication (ERC) policy and practice.
WHO (2020) WHO announces COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
WHO (2020) WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19-11 March 2020. Geneva, Switzerland
WHO (2020) Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Situation report. 72


article language: English
document type: Scientific Paper
DOI: 10.5937/afmnai38-31387
published in SCIndeks: 01/07/2021
peer review method: double-blind
Creative Commons License 4.0

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