World Health Organisation, in its recent statement, highlighted that the COVID19 pandemic had shown the importance of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) for health emergency preparedness and response.
Following the above statement, WHO officials stated, “Communicating the risks from the virus has proven vital to ensuring people can make informed decisions and take actions to protect themselves and others and has thus helped reduce the pandemic’s impact on health systems and economies“.
In view of Dr Mira Rakacolli – Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection of Albania stated that talking about the risks is not always easy, especially during a time when the science is a bit complicated and constantly evolving.
“This pandemic has shown that health authorities need the trust as well as the support of the communities they serve if they are to stop an epidemic”, she then underscored.
On the other hand, WHO Representative to Albania – Geraldine McWeeney, stated, “This technical workshop, and others like it, pool knowledge & expertise, identify common challenges, and then lead to united action with support from WHO & international partners – resulting in better health for all our communities”.
Speaking during the recent meeting, Cristiana Salvi, RCCE Adviser for WHO/Europe, stated, “With this meeting, we wanted to establish a – role model that brings RCCE to the next level as a core public health intervention in response to both outbreak & humanitarian emergencies. The health sector can arise to this task by – putting in place the right structures, systems and skills for when the next emergency strikes“.
“The lessons identified in this event will be relevant not only for the Western Balkans region but to everyone working in health emergency responses across Europe and the world”.