Adapting Communication About Ebola To Local Communities Vital To Stopping Outbreaks, Opinion Piece Says
New Humanitarian: We won’t achieve zero Ebola cases in Congo until we get language right
Mia Marzotto, senior advocacy officer at Translators without Borders (TWB)
“…Fifteen months into the Democratic Republic of Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak, we are still asking people to overcome the fear of an indiscriminate disease and accept an intimidating medical process while communicating in a way that often creates confusion and frustration. … The good news is that there’s growing recognition about the importance of engaging with communities in the languages they speak and understand. … Yet, we are still failing to systematically take into account the languages that people speak and understand, and their communication needs and preferences. This makes it much harder for responders to listen, understand, and provide trustworthy information and services to help people protect themselves and their families from the disease. … Unless we adapt our communications to the needs and preferences of those affected by Ebola, the last mile in eastern Congo could be a very long one” (12/3).