«A public health crisis or emergency is characterised by its ability to cause ill health and death among hundreds, thousands or sometimes millions of people.
In a health crisis, the media has the power to save lives.
Effective communication can help to prevent or reduce the spread of disease, and guide those affected towards health services and treatment.
This manual provides tips for media practitioners on how to help audiences during health emergencies.
It can be read in conjunction with BBC Media Action’s Lifeline Production Manual (available online) which provides more general guidance on how to communicate with people affected by humanitarian crises in order to help save lives and reduce suffering.1
Public health emergencies can start quickly or very slowly.
This manual will address those that start relatively quickly: rapid onset of public health emergencies.»