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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69-70

Strengthening risk communication to avert stigma and discrimination in the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic


1 Department of Community Medicine, Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet - 603 108, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_20_20

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The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continues to be a public health emergency of international concern owing to its rise in the caseload, case fatality rates and the emergence of the cases in different nations other than China. Amidst all the happenings and the global threat, it is a must to ensure that we strengthen our risk communication and community engagement activities to avert any kinds of social stigma and discrimination towards the affected individuals. The emergence of stigma will overcomplicate the already complex problem and significantly affect the efforts to prevent the ongoing transmission, contact tracing and successful containment of the infection. In order to avoid these impending consequences, the need of the hour is to formulate community-based guides, organize global campaigns, strengthen risk communication activities, and improve the trust of people on health systems and by showing empathy & compassion towards the affected individuals. In conclusion, the road to fight the COVID-19 infection is an uphill task and we cannot succeed in the same without the participation and solidarity from the community. Thus, it is of utmost important to strengthen our risk communication without giving any scope to the emergence of stigma and discrimination.


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