Says report calling for more effective Health Communication.

Communicating Complex Health Messages (CCHM) was pinpointed as an area of research by WISH at a timely and crucial crossroads in health care and communication – the rate at which we can access and spread information is increasing, our trust in sources is decreasing, competing views are common, and the media landscape is increasingly fragmented. To encourage global focus on this crucial issue WISH today presented a report led by L. Suzanne Suggs, Associate Professor at Università della Svizzera italiana, as Chair of the CCHM Forum.

Over the past year Suzanne Suggs has led a multidisciplinary team of distinguished experts, drawn from multiple sectors and settings around the world to research and provide recommendations to improve the effectiveness of health messaging and translate that knowledge to action. The report describes a wide range of health communication issues such as trust, relevance, accessibility, channels, opposing views and volume along with innovative solutions including a three-step framework for effective communication and three suggested ‘enablers’.

Suzanne Suggs said: “The gap between the health we have and the health we could have is not solely a failure of knowledge. It is a failure to share the knowledge that exists, and translate it into action. Whether we want to maintain and improve health, contain immediate public health crises or respond appropriately to ill health, the messages we send and receive play a critical role. The recommendations stemming from our research aim to improve heath communication around the world. We provide a structure for communicators to follow, resulting in messages that are intuitive, personally relevant and impactful.”

Professor The Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH, said: “Communicating such messages effectively is not an easy task. While the health challenges we face are great, we have more tools and more knowledge at our fingertips than ever before. Today’s report sets out a framework to aid policymakers in prioritising this often over-looked healthcare issue and to guide them in designing and delivering simple messages in an increasingly complex world. Our hope is that policymakers will adopt and implement the proposed communications framework as a result of this unique and timely report.”

Participating in the WISH Communicating Complex Health Messages panel discussion, Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired, Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) of Jordan, said: “I believe this Forum comes at a crucial time as this healthcare topic has long been overlooked. This gathering will address an important topic in healthcare and will highlight the impact of successful communication to reach diverse stakeholders and empower them to take action and protect their health. With the evolution of technology, I believe we all must continue to assess and evolve our communication strategies to deliver life-saving messages to our communities.”

HRH Princess Dina continued: “I have found that health communication is not high on our priority list in our region due to the political and economic issues dominating public conversations. This is why I am really happy to be part of this important panel to help catalyze efforts in catching up with communicating complex health messages that are relevant to our communities through effective tools that empower the public to take charge of their health and wellbeing.”

Communicating Complex Heath Messages (CCHM) is one of eight reports being presented at the 2015 WISH Summit taking place in Qatar, where leading international health experts are joining an influential community of heads of state, government ministers, academics, clinicians, policy makers and business leaders have met to discuss innovative solutions to some of the most pressing global health challenges.

watch the pre-summit video

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