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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

Johns Hopkins: CCP Helps Prepare for New Outbreaks Like Coronavirus

The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) is working on a global project known as READY, led by Save the Children and funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, which works in four regions, including Asia, to improve outbreak preparedness planning. Officials with the initiative are accelerating efforts to launch preparedness workshops in Asia and Africa in order to address the developing situation with the new coronavirus. CCP is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

A key component of READY is to strengthen the capacity of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to operationalize risk communication, social and behavior change communication, and community engagement to address outbreaks, and to support humanitarian organizations in appropriately integrating these areas in institutional emergency preparedness plans. The team has already developed scenarios for discussion that focus on the coronavirus. The READY project was created on the heels of the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed 11,325.

Along with its Asian work, CCP works with governments, United Nations (UN) agencies, and NGOs in eight African nations to strengthen national capacity for risk communication and community engagement for zoonotic diseases, or diseases that spread from animals to humans. The work, funded by USAID’s Global Health Security Agenda, recognizes that the health of humans is closely connected to the health of animals, with most known infectious diseases and three of every four new diseases originating from animals. Many African countries have strong trade ties to China, and there is concern coronavirus might spread there.

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