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3 Public Health Messaging Failures: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It

March 13, 2023


Public health crisis communications plans have the power to improve outcomes, reduce long-term healthcare costs, and save lives. These plans should convey crucial health information to impacted groups with recommendations on how and when to seek care and reduce spread. The consequences of ineffective, inconsistent, or absent public health messaging in times of crisis are grave, leading to the mistrust of healthcare institutions, stigmatization of impacted groups, and decreased likelihood of impacted groups seeking care. Over the past few years, the messaging around monkeypox, HIV, and COVID-19 are just a few examples of communications having deadly consequences. What went wrong and how do we make sure it doesn’t happen again?

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