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Societies 2017, 7(1), 2;

The Role of Health Promotion in Disease Outbreaks and Health Emergencies

Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Vej 9, 6700 Esbjerg, Denmark
Academic Editor: Kristine Crondahl
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Promotion)
Full-Text   |   PDF [139 KB, uploaded 10 February 2017]


Health promotion has a key role to play in disease outbreaks and health emergencies because it can offer well-established bottom-up approaches that engage with people to be an active part of a response. International agencies did learn from their earlier mistakes in, for example, the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, even though an attempt to engage with communities was not initially widely implemented. Many agencies preferred to use pre-packaged approaches which had an emphasis on individual behavior changes and health care delivery. This had a questionable effect because disease outbreaks and health emergencies must actively communicate with and involve people to be successful. Health promotion practice recognizes the value of community capacity-building, participation and empowerment—aspects that are already intrinsic to many health promotion programs. An understanding of how this is achieved in practice will help agencies to find an appropriate way forward to involve and better communicate with communities when the next disease outbreak inevitably occurs. View Full-Text
Keywords: disease outbreaks; empowerment; health promotion; communication; community engagement disease outbreaks; empowerment; health promotion; communication; community engagement
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Laverack, G. The Role of Health Promotion in Disease Outbreaks and Health Emergencies. Societies 2017, 7, 2.

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