FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Rapid review finds holes in ECDC's public health advocacy

A recent evidence review of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control's public health advocacy for communicable diseases found key strategies missing from the advocacy and provided new recommendations for improvement.

The rapid review analyzed evidence on advocacy initiatives regarding communicable diseases, such as Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and the measles; these diseases were observed because of their relevance to the European continent. The review also took into special consideration the effect of communicable diseases on populations considered to be minorities, disadvantaged or hard-to-reach.

The outcome of the evidence review was released on Monday and while the literature did not include reviews of specific public health advocacy initiatives for communicable diseases, the review did include a list of general tools that would help the development of strong preventative strategies against communicable diseases, including models, toolkits and interventions.

Public health advocacy is a key strategy for the ECDC and relies on international information about a particular disease to comprise the best informed public health initiatives against communicable disease.

The ECDC said health advocacy for communicable diseases is in the early stages of development and its current evidence base is still fairly small. The evidence review did, however, name a number of existing templates and toolkits available that can improve the health advocacy to be more effective in the creation of preventative initiatives against communicable diseases.