Community Engagement Critical To Response, Research Activities During Global Health Emergencies
The Guardian: The importance of community involvement in tackling Ebola
Katharine Wright, assistant director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and 18 colleagues in global health
“…When such crises [like the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)] emerge, a trusting relationship between responders and affected community members makes a vital difference to whether the response is effective. As shown in DRC, trust is not a given, which is one of the reasons why community engagement — involving local people in the development of the response from the very start — is so important. In conflict zones this is more difficult than in other emergencies, and yet even more important. This also holds true when conducting research during an outbreak … A recent international meeting of survivors’ leaders, community engagement specialists, and medical and social science researchers … has identified key features of community engagement relating to both response and research, including: Effective engagement is a two-way process … Approaches must be founded on empathy, human connections, and a recognition of the history and experiences of those affected by the outbreak … Community engagement must be embedded from the beginning as a core part of response and research activities, with appropriate funding and support. … We call on national governments, research funders, research ethics committees, the media, and others to unite in promoting and supporting community engagement for response and research during global health emergencies” (5/22).
The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.