The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) jointly organised a high-level meeting on risk communications for public health emergencies on 14–15 June 2017 in Seoul, Korea. The 5th edition of the ASEF Public Health Network’s series of risk communication events since 2013, was held as a meeting and in collaboration with KCDC for the first time.
The Meeting brought together 32 public health experts from 15 different Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner countries and international organisations. In addition to sharing experiences on public health emergencies among the panel, scenario-based group discussions were also conducted. Senior officials from across Asia and Europe developed risk communication and preparedness strategies as well as policy recommendations as output.
In addition to the overall aim of strengthening policymakers’ capacity to support risk communications in times of health emergencies, recognising the complexity and the role of emergency risk communication (ERC) in a context of crisis management beyond the health sector was equally addressed.
The Meeting also identified difficulties in decision-making and communicating with the public. It highlighted the importance of inter-sectoral coordination between decision-makers and their respective spokespersons.