The Uganda Ministry Of Health Is A Model Of Public Communication During An Ebola Health Crisis
Governments have typically failed their residents throughout well being crises, together with the Covid-19 pandemic. However within the ongoing outbreak of Ebola, Uganda is doing it proper.
There are numerous explanation why governments fail to successfully talk with their residents throughout public well being crises. Some, such because the precedence of coping with the disaster at hand, are comprehensible. One other is disorganization arising from the “fog of battle” within the battle in opposition to an rising pathogen. Others, akin to safety from accountability, are extra insidious. All are inexcusable.
Uganda is doing issues very in a different way.
The candor and compassion of public well being messaging has been spectacular. Truth sheets, that includes photographs of officers which can be each deeply humanizing and authoritative, have been printed that deal with widespread misconceptions.
A hotline has been arrange and the Ministry of Well being is publishing statistics and knowledge.
The official Ministry of Well being Twitter deal with could be very energetic.
The Minister for Well being, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, additionally tweets usually from her personal account. Her Twitter profile boldly states that she is “Spouse. Mom. Grandmother”. She is an individual first, not a speaking head.
The incident commander charged with overseeing the response, Henry Kyobe Bosa, additionally posts usually to Twitter. His shifting editorial within the New York Occasions is an instance of readability, honesty, and coronary heart.
Maybe essentially the most spectacular element of Uganda’s public communication has been its transparency with knowledge. Info permits people and organizations to make good choices. Info permits the folks to carry their officers accountable. In at present’s data financial system, data is energy.
It might be simple to suppress the info, however Uganda and the World Well being Group Regional Workplace for Africa aren’t doing that. Each few days a brand new SitRep, brief for “State of affairs Report”, is launched on a web site.
The studies comprise all method of knowledge and numerical knowledge, together with statistics just like the variety of newly confirmed circumstances, the variety of deaths, and the variety of healthcare employees which have turn into contaminated. The SitReps additionally embody details about case administration, just like the mattress capability of Ebola remedy items, and the continuing contact tracing program.
Nearly definitely, the info aren’t good. However, my goodness, they’ve the aroma of transparency. Kudos to you, Mr. Bosa, Dr. Aceng, and your colleagues. You might be an inspiration.