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Assistant Director's Office / Special Advisor for Social and Media Communication

Risk and Outbreak Communication Workshop for Pandemic Preparedness

( Habana, Cuba, 2 - 4 April, 2008 )

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  • A team of 30 staff members in communication, from different ministries or governmental agencies such as Health, Agriculture, Education, Labor, Foreign Affairs, Presidency, and/or Civil Defense. In the case of Cuba, we relied on the participation of communicators at the central level and one delegate of communication from each of the 15 provinces.
  • Communicators from the United Nations in Cuba

Team of Coordinators and Facilitators

  • Bryna Brennan, Special Advisor, Social and Media Communication (PAHO)
  • Vilma Gutiérrez, Communication Specialist (PAHO)
  • Facilitated by a team of trainers in risk and outbreak communication from PAHO


  • Develop in the participants skills in risk and crisis communication guided toward planning and preparation for avian/pandemic influenza.
  • Ensure that the standards in outbreak communication of WHO and the principles of risk communication are integral parts of the national preparedness plans, in the event of an influenza pandemic, to ensure a fast and effective response to an eventual influenza pandemic.
  • Ensure better communication among the agencies, the media, the public, and the essential partners with focus toward the prevention, preparation, and mitigation (containment).
  • Ensure that the participants understand the tie among the preparations for pandemic influenza and the International Health Regulations.


  • The PAHO technical cooperation is aimed at providing support and technical training to the countries of the region for the preparation and implementation of outbreak communication strategies that are an essential component to the National Preparedness Plans regarding an influenza pandemic.


  • A team of communicators trained to strengthen the national efforts in the preparation of a national strategy of communication in the event of outbreak pandemic, that is validated, analyzed, and incorporated as an integral part of the National Preparedness Plan for an influenza pandemic in Cuba.
  • Creation and/or consolidation of a trainer team in communication in the event of an influenza pandemic.
  • Definition of mechanisms to put in action the plans and ensure that the evaluations take place.
  • Consolidate a framework established for the regional health communicator network for sharing materials, exchanging ideas, and taking advantage of the good practices.
  • Ensure the realization of the simulation exercises.

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