The rapid spread of Omicron since late November 2021 has put new pressure on healthcare systems throughout Africa and the world. New data about this Covid-19 variant is also developing rapidly, and Dr. Opeayo Ogundiran, epidemiologist with the Emergency Preparedness and Response program at the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, took the journalists through the five most urgent facts to know when reporting on Omicron. Cyrille Hommell, Data Engineer at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), took journalists on a tour of the Covid-19 Behavioural Dashboard, an online tool that measures and tracks key social behavioural data on Covid-19 from multiple research projects conducted in the field or at the global level. The Dashboard, created by the Collective Service for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), provides real-time country-specific data that can help journalists track the spread and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in their communities. This Media Dialog provided ample time for Q&A with the experts, so journalists are encouraged to bring their questions to the event. This Media Dialog was brought to you by the Media Taskforce of the Eastern and Southern Africa Inter-Agency working group for Risk Communication and Community Engagement. Wayne Sharpe of the Internews Rooted in Trust Covid-19 communications project, and Tole Nyatta of the Internews Health Journalism Network co-moderated the discussion.
INFORMATION PREPAREDNESS AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT FOR EL NIÑO IN THE EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA REGION
This key considerations brief describes the implications of El Niño in the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) initiatives, based on previous comparable weather events. Lessons learnt are predominantly taken from the literature on communicating forecast and weather information, but have implications for multi-hazard RCCE response. Some lessons learnt are also taken from beyond East and Southern Africa, but considered within the anticipated El Niño effects in ESAR specifically.