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Learning from New Zealand’s Covid-19 response, with a particular focus on effective communication

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Effective pandemic communication depends on having a sound, evidence-informed response strategy. Such communication was particularly important for supporting New Zealand’s elimination approach. Equity and partnership with communities is critical. Effective communication supports coordinated delivery of interventions adapted to each phase of the response and builds trust.

Key tools include the use of ‘framing’ in designing media messages and approaches for responding to misinformation and disinformation. In our increasingly outraged information environment, there is a need to protect the messenger. It is important that we document what we have learned to improve our responses to future public health threats and opportunities.

Bio note: Prof. Michael Baker is a public health physician and Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, Wellington, NZ.

He is a member of the NZ Government’s Covid-19 Technical Advisory Group. Michael was a leading advocate for the elimination strategy in NZ. He is an active researcher on the pandemic and principal investigator for the Covid-19 Research Collaborative (Co-Search).

In February 2023, Michael launched the Public Health Communication Centre, Aotearoa (PHCC). The PHCC aims to support evidence-informed policy, improve Government decision-making processes, inform the public about health issues, and provide some protection from disinformation.

Additional details about Michaels’s work are described on his University webpage:

This talk is part of the CMIH Hub seminar series series.

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