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“Effective communication during epidemics and outbreaks is a critical component of a public health response. Even more than usual, people need accurate information so that they can adapt their behavior and protect themselves, their families, and their communities against infection, onward transmission, and death. However, during an epidemic or pandemic, the communication environment can be complicated by an ‘infodemic,’ which is the rapid, large-scale spread of health information and misinformation through a variety of media and informational channels.”
The above statement, from an article written in the Journal of Health Security in February 2021, succinctly sums up the problem of misinformation in the case of health emergencies.(1)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), however, misinformation can do more than complicate the communication flow. Acting on the wrong information can kill.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
Every year, over 13 million girls aged 15–19 give birth in low- and middle-income countries, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Many of these young mothers are married, first-time parents, and are often under family and community pressure to have a second child quickly. Young mothers who have a second child very rapidly can suffer complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Their children may also experience adverse health outcomes from rapid, repeat pregnancies.1
Successful development programs rely on people to behave in certain ways and make certain choices. Behavioral economics helps us understand why people behave and choose as they do, and behavioral design harnesses these insights for effective program development.
Breakthrough-ACTION is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP). The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of JHU∙CCP. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not necessarily represent the views or positions of USAID, the United States Government, or The Johns Hopkins University.