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Vital Strategies’ COVID-19 Risk Communication Hub Provides Governments Public Education Media Campaigns

June 3, 2020 (New York) – Timely and accurate communication is essential to saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. To enable governments to rapidly create and share public education media campaigns, Vital Strategies has developed a COVID-19 Risk Communication Hub, a digital platform offering governments and NGOs access to more than 200 media resources in a dozen languages. It includes original material vetted by experts, curated materials around the globe, and unique technical guidance that can be used to create campaigns that empower and protect people throughout the COVID-19 response.

“Risk communication is a fundamental component of an effective and adaptive pandemic response,” said Amanda McClelland, Senior Vice President of Prevent Epidemics at Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies. “A fragmented information landscape means the challenge for governments is greater than ever. Credible spokespeople need to be on radio, television, and on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. Our new platform provides more than 200 examples of clear and strong messages – and adaptations into radio scripts, illustrations, YouTube videos – that can quickly be adapted by governments and NGOs to fight the spread of the coronavirus.” 

“In a crisis communities urgently want to know their level of risk and how can they protect their loved ones. When they don’t receive clear guidance, all too often they turn to rumors and misinformation.” said Sandra Mullin, Senior Vice President, Policy, Advocacy, and Communication at Vital Strategies. “Our COVID-19 Risk Communication Hub has made mounting credible media campaigns quicker and easier for governments, through model materials that can be quickly adapted. We have covered the most important topics through original materials and scraped the world for the engaging messages that countries can used to communicate with the public about the risks of COVID-19 and empower the public to protect themselves.”

Vital Strategies has over a decade of experience developing risk communication materials and implementing powerful population-level mass media campaigns. Reviewed by scientists and communication experts at Vital Strategies, The Hub contains proven risk communication messages that aim to increase knowledge about COVID-19 and on how to prevent its spread. Available topic areas range from protective measures such as handwashing and physical distancing, to ready-to-use illustrations for social media, to guidance on how to launch campaigns through WhatsApp. These materials have been adapted for use on a multitude of platforms including TV, radio, billboards, social media, and WhatsApp messenger.

Risk communication support has been one component of a global response from Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, which is supporting governments around the world to improve COVID-19 response with technical and financial assistance. To date, ten countries are implementing campaigns and materials from the communications hub, reaching approximately 500 million people.  The Hub is an open platform, offering COVID-19 materials in a variety of resource types, languages, topics, and sources. The Hub will be updated throughout the pandemic response as new materials become available.

To access the COVID-19 Risk Communication Hub, please visit: www.covid19riskcomms.org

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About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising  interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.

To find out more, please visit www.vitalstrategies.org or Twitter @VitalStrat.

About Resolve to Save Lives

Resolve to Save Lives is a five-year, $225 million initiative funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gates Philanthropy Partners, which is funded with support from the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. Resolve received additional funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the CDC Foundation for the COVID-19 response. It is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is part of the global organization Vital Strategies

To find out more visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org or Twitter @ResolveTSL.

Resolve to Save Lives created a website called PreventEpidemics.org that shows how prepared each country is for an epidemic, including COVID-19, and how many flights are coming and going from infected countries. This site is also a resource for current coronavirus statistics and resources.

Media Contact(s):

Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies: choneysett@vitalstrategies.org; +1-914-424-3356