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[COMMUNICATION OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION] DEVC263

Valred E. Olsim
Assignment No. 1

Communicating “Measles”
In the 1990s, the Philippines Department of Health embarked on a national mass-media campaign in
support of routine vaccination services. As measles are seriously considered deadly, the objectives of
the project were to encourage more mothers and their children to attend health clinics, to increase
knowledge about measles, and to give clear information about the age for measles vaccination.

The science communicators were tasked to translate the said objectives of the program to a language
and through a medium which can reach, and can be ingested by the target public, or the stakeholders.
Hence, the program communicators utilized the radio, newspaper, and television advertisements; print
materials, posters, banners, welcome streamers, bumper stickers, and t-shirts, to publicize the need for
such vaccination.

To test the reliability of the media advertisements, questionnaires were used before and after the
release of the mass-media campaign. The communicators saw an increase of the numbers of their
target receivers regarding the level of their awareness and knowledge regarding the subject. Such
success was further evident on observations of interviews and numbers of actual clients for
vaccinations. The mass-media information campaign was majorly responsible for the improvement in
vaccination coverage.

The Value of Development Communication
Before the advent of the social media, the traditional mass media - the newspaper, the radio and
television – were the modern tools that have revolutionized communication as we know it. Such
development, amplified the efforts of communicators to effect change, to educate and inform a
substantial number of targets, and to further realize advocacies.

Development communication as the art and science of communication to inspire positive development
for the nation encompasses the best health of its citizens, most especially its successor generation.
Hence, the exploitation of the existing communication tools and strategies were instrumental in
increasing the population of vaccinated children at that time, and most especially, the increase of
awareness of mothers with regards to the importance of the vaccination.

Other Strategies
Other Strategies that may be used may be the following: the use, not just of television commercials, but
also of the television programs like variety shows and game shows, and the use of interesting
contests/prizes in the health centers (e.g. First 10 mothers in vaccination period will receive a kilo of
rice).

In the present, however, the social media like facebook and twitter are good tools for health centers and
agencies.


[COMMUNICATION OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION] DEVC263
Valred E. Olsim
Assignment No. 2
Risk Communication
Risk communication definitions are often similar to the definition offered by Covello
(1992), who wrote of the “process of exchanging information among interested parties
about the nature, magnitude, significance, or control of a risk” (p. 359) as all communities
need a way to communicate about present, emerging, and evolving risks.
Other definitions emphasize the importance of risk management (McComas, 2006), the
need for dialogue between communicators and stakeholders (Palenchar, 2005), and the
necessity of ongoing risk monitoring (Coombs, 2012).
Risk communication is a relatively new field. In the mid-1980s , bit became recognized as
a necessary component in risk management and community decision making in
environmental and occupational health as the Nation faced mounting concern over toxic
wastes, nuclear power plants, and hazardous materials. Since the first national conference
on risk communication in 1986, the field has matured, evolved, and gained greater interest
and attention among agencies, policymakers, the media, and the public.
Risk communication presupposes that people's perceptions of the magnitude of risk are
influenced by factors other than numerical data, and other information which are too
technical and scientific for the comprehension of the public.
More importantly, how risks are perceived are affected by the information that is
transferred to the target subjects. Such information is affected by many factors as: sources,
control, and familiarity, among others. Some examples of such information where risk
communication have played, or could’ve played roles are the following.

1. Communicating “Storm Surge”: During the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda in
Visayas recently, the Disaster Risk Reduction Management team acknowledged the
lack of risk communication specifically in communicating to the Local government
Units about the perceived magnitude of damage by the storm surge.

2. Communicating Dengue: Coordinating and involving the Local Government
officials as legitimate partners in the Department of Healths’s anti- Dengue
Campaign.

3. Understanding issues through the Media: The public accesses information through
the media, whether the traditional or the new media. As such, Risk communicators
must use such tools to understand technical issues concerning them.