Zika reveals India’s risk communication challenges and needs
Sesagiri Raamkumar, Aravind
Date of Issue2018
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Centre for Healthy and Sustainable Cities (CHESS)
India’s approach to disseminating information about the first three cases of the Zika virus was criticised nationally and internationally after the issue came to light in May 2017 through a World Health Organization news release. We analyse the incident from a risk communication perspective. This commentary recaps the events and synthesises key arguments put forth by the news media and public health stakeholders. We use Peter Sandman’s risk = hazard + outrage framework – also adopted by India’s risk communication planners – to analyse India’s risk communication response and contextualise it against the mandate of the National Risk Communication Plan and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme. We conclude with recommendations for India’s risk communication policymakers, including the need to develop capacity for risk communication research and scholarship in the country.
Indian Journal of Medical Ethics
© 2018 Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.20529/IJME.2018.027].