April 8, 2019 – On the occasion of the World Health Day, the Department of Nursing & Health Sciences along with the Department of Media Studies at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) gathered a panel of specialists to address the role of effective communication in advancing the health of communities. Moderated by Dr. Jessica El-Khoury, Assistant Professor at the Department of Media Studies, the panelists discussed health communication from distinctive standpoints based on their professional expertise and practice.
Communication is at the heart of engaging and affecting change in the health of individuals, societies, institutions, and the population at large. How health information is created and publicized undoubtedly plays a role in influencing public opinion and public policy on important healthcare matters, and therefore promote and maintain good individual and population health.
Rania Baroud, Head of Journalism & Communication School at the Antonine University, talked about the advocacy road map, and communication methods that were adopted for social and legislative reforms that led to the passing of the Lebanese Tobacco Control Law 174.
Elie Aaraj, Executive Director at the Middle East & North Africa Harm Reduction Association (MENAHRA) touched on communication strategies and communication obstacles in the context of harm reduction programs and services for people who inject drugs.
Major Michel Moutran, Road Safety Expert at the National Road Safety Council, presented the case for viewing road safety through the lens of public health, in light of the significant burden that road accidents have on public health.
Rana Saleh, Advocacy & Evidence lead Specialist, Knowledge to Policy Center at the American University of Beirut (AUB), talked about health reporting in print media and its impact on policy making, the quality of newspaper articles using evidence, and the challenges of evidence-based health communication in Lebanon, concluding with recommendations and lessons learned and take home messages.