Objective Since 2003 the Chinese National Health and Family Arranging Commission

Objective Since 2003 the Chinese National Health and Family Arranging Commission (formerly the Ministry of Health) has applied changes to more effectively communicate risk during general public health emergencies. developed an awareness of risk communication principles and the ability to implement those principles in practice in China. Conclusions Long term efforts should focus on areas such as a dedicated risk communication workforce requirements that general public health agencies develop a risk communication plan and additional training for general public health practitioners and their partners. It is critical the infectious diseases prevention and control regulation become amended to give provincial and local general public health agencies more autonomy to release info. and the US CDC problems and emergency risk communication (CDC CERC) program materials.5 6 Awareness of these principles has been important to enhance risk communication and FAI they have been fundamental to the ongoing training program for public health professionals in China. Specific difficulties in China include a lack of dedicated communications staff and training large rural areas low health literacy established modes of operation for the press that do not meet the demands of the population and difficulty in FAI efficiently using both traditional and social networking to strategically inform populations during general public health emergencies.7 Additional cultural contexts provide challenges in China. These challenges include coordination between different companies as well as between different levels of authorities (local provincial national) which is a hallmark of risk communication before during and after an emergency. Pcdha10 However in China a top-down control system drives emergency response such as the response typically observed during floods.8 This approach has provided a successful model for emergency response in China but the limited interaction between agencies and levels of government at other times limits the effectiveness of prevention and response activities. THE Effect OF POOR RISK COMMUNICATION The SARS epidemic shown the impact of this lack of communication with early instances presenting at armed service hospitals and not being reported in the beginning to the state medical system.9 This lack of communication FAI between different agencies and levels of government resulted in delays with regard to policy decisions aimed at stemming transmission of the disease.10 Delayed information tended to cause confusion and concern among the public which in turn prospects to distrust of the government. Further the public in general has not been viewed as a partner something that can improve the public’s response to risk messaging.5 Increasing coordination among authorities agencies and involving the public as a partner can result in improvements to emergency response. This process to improve risk communication also includes understanding some of FAI the common misconceptions about disasters including concerns of mass stress issues with motivating people to take action (such as for an evacuation) and understating the resiliency of those affected by a disaster all of which can negatively influence risk communication efforts.11 Emergency planners must recognize the nature of risk understanding and how populations actually respond during an emergency. Evidence demonstrates when people are treated as partners in the process (with fairness integrity and respect) those people are more likely to appropriately react and respond to the risk communications becoming communicated.12 The Fukushima nuclear problems in 2011 provides a stark reminder of how important it is to understand and participate your target audience when attempting to communicate risk. The majority of the Japanese general public was only expected to be exposed to very low doses of radiation but that did not change the fact that accurate info should still have been offered.13 In the days after the problems a lack of accurate info made the situation worse providing further evidence that adequate planning is required to provide effective risk communications during an emergency.13 Public understanding can also switch over time or after a significant event as supported by study in China before and after the Fukushima nuclear problems. Surveys given to occupants living near a nuclear power flower before and after the Fukushima nuclear problems showed significant changes in the understanding of risk with regard to nuclear power demonstrating the need to continuously assess and understand the prospective audience and to make appropriate changes to risk communication messaging.14 A previous assessment in China demonstrated that the public responded.