The efforts to stem the 2013-2015 Ebola epidemic revealed fundamental deficits in the health policies and strategies of the afflicted West African countries – but also of regional and international organizations. The spread of the epidemic was exacerbated by cross-border migration in West Africa, basic shortcomings in healthcare systems, loss of public confidence in health authorities and ineffectual risk communication. The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States and its specialist institution for health, the West African Health Organization (WAHO), have a mandate to assist member states in controlling epidemics.
That ECOWAS support is in-progress and on-track, but it requires further institutional support. The Regional Program supporting Pandemic Prevention in the ECOWAS Region (RPPP) programme objective is defined as “advice provided by the ECOWAS Commission, the ECOWAS institutions and specialized agencies to ECOWAS member states on setting up selected disease control mechanisms in keeping with the International Health Regulations (IHR)”. Risk communication is one of the core competencies of IHR that countries need to strengthen in this context. The working definition of Risk Communication from the IHR working group refers to the real-time exchange of information, advice and opinions between experts or officials and people who face a threat (hazard) to their survival, health or economic or social well-being. Its ultimate purpose is that everyone at risk is able to take informed decisions to mitigate the effects of the threats from a disease outbreak and take protective and preventive action. To achieve this, risk communication can use a mix of communication and engagement strategies and tactics, including – but not limited to – media communications, social media, mass awareness campaigns, health promotion, stakeholder engagement, social mobilization and community engagement.
The programme intervenes at the regional level as well as in the focus countries affected by the recent Ebola epidemic: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria.
The Health Hackathon on Risk Communication for West Africa-Nigeria edition is a four-day event in Abuja,designed to bring together tech developers, risk communication and disease control professionals to brainstorm and design solutions that can enhance efforts in preparing for and responding to health emergencies and epidemics. These actors will convene to conceive and rapidly develop new solutions to address the challenges of Health and Risk Communication.This event takes place at Civic Innovation Lab in Abuja from October 29 – November 1, 2018.
The event will be organized by Sensi Tech Innovation Hub in partnership with the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Center for
Disease Control, on behalf of GFA Consulting Group GmbH and GIZ as part of the German Cooperation-financed Regional Program supporting Pandemic Prevention in the ECOWAS Region (RPPP)
At the end of the 4 days intense incubation and acceleration phase, teams will present their prototypes for judging on the final day, competing for a chance to develop their ideas further with support from Sensi Tech Hub, GIZ, GFA and the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Center for Disease Control. The winning team will receive support to the tune of $2500 to implement their solution.
The event is open to all tech developers, risk communication specialists, and disease control professionals. We welcome individuals from local universities, organizations, and institutions across Nigeria who are motivated to participate in this intense incubation and acceleration of ideas.
See Full details here:http://hackinnovation.sensi-sl.org/hackinnovation
Register to be part of the event here:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfpYxmkAA7Eh2P4pu20b1GeVUQsQYxpsYMntkTW1XNJCpMtTA/viewform