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The TELL ME project takes off!

on Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:38

On March 1st and 2nd 2012 the TELL ME project kick off meeting was held in Rome. TELL ME is the nice acronym of a longer title, which is somehow self explanatory: Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence.

“This project is indeed an innovative, multiannual, multinational, and multi centre enterprise” says Emilio Mordini – project scientific coordinator – “which aims to provide evidence and to develop models for improved risk communication during infectious disease crises, notably flu epidemics and pandemics”.

The project is co-funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development.  TELL ME gathers twelve institutions, including universities, national institute of health, media and communication companies, research centres, professional organizations, civil society organizations, representing  eight countries  (Belgium, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latvia, United Kingdom, United States), and several different disciplines.  As a whole the TELL ME team combines the highest expertise in different fields, creating a virtual centre of excellence on public health communication during epidemics. After the mixed results of  public health campaigns aiming to prevent the spread of flu during 2009 pandemics (and some  controversies  raised by vaccination and anti-viral drug campaigns), there is a need to revise the current wisdom about people behavior in pandemics,  communication policies, and the involvement of health professionals. TELL ME will develop innovative communication strategies encapsulated in an integrated Communication Kit for outbreak communication.  The Communication Kit will then be tested thought the use of innovative social simulation software, specifically designed by TELL ME to allow policy makers and decision takers to plan in advance communication policies and strategies during future flu outbreaks.

More news to come….!