Online Program

Using online surveillance to characterize media health event reporting in Nepal for global disease recognition from a One Health perspective

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Jessica Schwind, PhD MPH CPH, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Augusta University, Augusta, GA
Stephanie Norman, DVM, MS, PhD, Marine-Med, Bothell, WA
Dibesh Karmacharya, Center for Molecular Dynamics-Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
David Wolking, MSc, One Health Institute, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Sumiko Mekaru, DVM, PhD, MPVM, MLIS, Department of Emergency Medicine/Informatics Program, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
John S. Brownstein, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Director, Computational Epidemiology Group, Children’s Hospital Boston, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
Traditional media sources, as well as the internet, are crucial in the global communication of health information. Media can play a significant role in shaping public opinion, knowledge and understanding of emerging health threats, in addition to current endemic diseases in the region. As technological growth continues to occur, especially in developing countries, local sources of information play an increasingly important role on the global digital disease detection stage. To understand this role, the study objective was to characterize the media environment in Nepal for health event reporting from a One Health perspective using a global online disease surveillance and mapping tool. Utilizing HealthMap, health event reports in Nepal were gathered from October 2013 through December 2014. Event variables such as location, media source type, disease or risk factor of interest, and affected species were extracted from the database tool. Health event characteristics were assessed in order to construct a comprehensive picture of the Nepali online mass media environment. Findings showed 181 health events were reported during the evaluation phase from a variety of sources including national newspapers, Google News and ProMED Mail.  The majority (n=155; 86%) of health events reported involved direct human health concerns, but animal health events were also captured (n=26; 14%). Further research is needed to examine the potential impact of increased communication between journalists and human, animal, and ecosystem health professionals. Through the expansion of health event coverage, traditional media in developing countries can play a key role in national risk communication efforts.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the role of media in risk communication of public, animal and ecosystem health events

Keyword(s): Veterinary Public Health, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Georgia Regents University. I specialize in the field of emerging infectious diseases and One Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.