Risk communication

Training raises risk communication to new heights in Ethiopia


27 March 2018 - It may look like a simple stretch, but WHO experts helped national and regional staff in Ethiopia reach new heights in their capacity to communicate health risks during emergencies at a workshop in February.

This was in response to a request from the Federal National Ministry of Health. Ethiopia has grappled with an unprecedented level of disease outbreaks and health emergencies in recent years, highlighting the importance of building expertise in that area.

SocialNET member joins GOARN mission to help protect South Africans from Listeriosis outbreak


27 February 2018 - SocialNet member Puleng Letsie, from Lesotho, was part of a high-level GOARN outbreak mission sent by WHO to support health authorities in South Africa as they battle the world's largest ever outbreak of the food-borne disease Listeriosis.

She supported the risk communication team in the Department of Health to develop key messages, overarching risk communication strategy as well as communication materials in 11 official languages.

Can I trust you?


14 February 2018 - During disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies, people need to know what health risks they face, and what actions they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones. This is the purpose of risk communication. Risk communication is increasingly the hallmark of any effective health emergency response.

WHO recently organized a side event at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand on “Communicating risk during epidemics: Can I trust you?”

The first ever WHO guidance on Communicating Risk in Public Health Emergencies

10 January 2018 - WHO has released the first ever evidence-based guideline on Emergency Risk Communication to support countries in building capacity for communicating risk during health emergencies.

During any disease outbreak and health emergency, people need and have a right to know what health risks they face and what actions they can take to protect their lives, health, families and communities.

Report: Risk communication workshop in Abuja

Eight large, white, poster papers lined the walls. Each poster was covered with colorful sticky notes, containing handwritten phrases, posted by a gathering of communications and surveillance officers from ECOWAS countries.

Each handwritten note highlighted a lesson learned during the four-day Regional Workshop on Validation of the Situational Analysis and Capacity Building on Risk Communication in the ECOWAS Region, a meeting organized by the West African Health Association (WAHO), in partnership with WHO and conducted in Abuja, Nigeria, from 11-14 July 2017.

Online course on risk communication - open to all, anytime, from anywhere


Risk communication refers to the real-time exchange of information, advice and opinions between experts, officials and people who face a threat to their wellbeing, to enable informed decision-making and to adopt protective behaviors. It’s a core public health intervention in any disease outbreak and health emergency.

This online course, hosted by the new learning platform OpenWHO, features 5 modules of lectures and exercises to equip frontline responders and decision-makers with the information and tools they need to better manage disease outbreaks and health emergencies.

What is risk communication?

Risk communication is an integral part of any public health emergency response. In epidemics and pandemics, in humanitarian crises and natural disasters, risk communication allows people at risk to understand and adopt protective behaviours.

It allows authorities and experts to listen to and address people’s concerns and needs so the advice they provide is relevant, trusted and acceptable. In this video, little Ksir explains why risk communication is so important.

Get the WHO Zika app

Designed to provide essential information on Zika virus disease and its suspected complications for the health care workers as well as the general public. The app is currently available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Other language versions are in the pipeline. New content, including trainings, is coming soon.




For more information about risk communication, please email: riskcommunication@who.int.