By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland county
Breakthrough ACTION, a global group has ended a two-day Risk Communication Community Engagement (RCCE) training workshop in Harper City, Maryland County with a call on participation to manage misinformation and disinformation properly.
The intensive training held recently in the Conference Hall of Caritas Cape Palmas, brought together stakeholders from all four administrative districts of the county.
Participants came from several local government ministries, including Internal Affairs, Agriculture, Health, Education, Lands and Mines, Justice, Commerce and Industry, Information, respectively among others.
Addressing participants during the workshop, one of the lead facilitators, Ms. Comfort Smith, said risk community depends on media communication, social media, mass awareness campaigns, house to house mobilization, advocacy and community engagement in order to improve health services in Maryland, Liberia and globally.
She said the main focus of “ONE HEALTH” is to strengthen collaborative relationships and communication between human health, animal health and environmental health partners in order to coordinate and provide social behavior change for disease surveillance across the country.
“It’s my greatest happiness to be with you here as one of the facilitators, let me inform you today that risk communication principles are trust, planning, listening and transparency therefore, you are encouraged to do your best in Maryland County to improve the health system”, Ms. Smith said.
She notes that rumors are unverified information that spreads rapidly through a group or population, and to avoid such from happening, participants should provide education about the negative effect of rumors in society.
She disclosed that there are various types of rumors and if not worked on, they could cause societal pollution. Ms. Smith named misinformation and disinformation as recipes for conflict and health risk.
She called on stakeholders to help in providing awareness and education to citizens about risks associated with poor communication.
Speaking also, Pleebo Sodoken Statutory district Superintendent Aloysius Williams, landed Breakthrough ACTION on behalf of the participants for the level of education provided to local stakeholders in the county.
“It’s my greatest happiness and honor for the positive education you have contributed to us on this unique training workshop, I can ensure you that we Marylanders will implement what we have learned positively. Mr. Williams assured.
Breakthrough ACTION is a global organization that seeks to deliver effective social and behavioral change (SBC) activities in Liberia that will result in improved demand and use of health services to combat malaria, maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition (MNCH+N). It also targets family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH); adolescent health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and helps communities to engage in behaviors that help prevent zoonotic and non-zoonotic infections in line with the Global Health Security Agenda