Strategic communication is at the heart of public health; in the digital age, it is more important than ever. Using communication to empower people to protect and improve their health and that of their family and community, while encouraging health workers to deliver the best possible care and governments to implement appropriate policies, requires expertise, skills and resources.
Solomon Islands through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) Health Promotion Department and Communication and Media Office this month participated in the Regional Action Framework on Communication for Health (C4H) consultation at the Conference Hall of WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific in Manila, Philippines.
Participants are senior officers from health ministries responsible for social and behaviour change communication, public health campaigns, and or risk/ communication from the Member States and partners in the Western Pacific Region.
At the consultation, Member States provided inputs towards the development and finalization of the draft Regional Action Framework on C4H for consideration by the Regional Committee in October 2023.
Member States built consensus on the strategic direction and focus of the C4H technical programme in the Region after adoption of the Framework; and to continue building countries’ capacity, the community of practice and shared understanding and ownership of the C4H approach in the Western Pacific Region.
The C4H approach enables communicators to design interventions with focus on health outcomes and impacts. Harnessing insights from social, behavioral and communication sciences, C4H can be used to increase knowledge, change attitudes and shift behaviours for improved health outcomes at the individual, community and societal levels.
Since 2019, WHO has working with Members States in the Western Pacific to build their C4H capacity, developing communication interventions that are informed by data and grounded in audience listening, to address current and future challenges to health in the Region, including preparing for and responding to health emergencies.