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Pandemic Influenza

UNICEF Response

Communication for behaviour and social change

© UNICEF Indonesia/2009/Estey
A focus group discusses ways to help women and children prepare for an influenza emergency.

UNICEF's role in the post-pandemic phase is to continue supporting governments in pandemic preparedness and response. This involves support to communication-based interventions that promote certain behaviours that can limit the spread and consequences of infection in the event of a disease outbreak.

WHO and UNICEF jointly identified key behavioural interventions for reducing the transmission and impact of Influenza A(H1N1) virus. This framework was developed in response to request by countries for guidance in developing communication strategies, messages and materials in relation to the current outbreak. It focuses on control measures at the individual and family level.

The public health goal of the behavioural interventions for pandemic prevention and preparedness is to reduce transmission, morbidity and mortality among:

  • people who are well — to avoid becoming infected
  • people who are sick to avoid infecting others and to recover from illness and
  • people who are caring for sick people — to protect themselves and other family members from infection.
  • Behaviours recommended to reduce transmission include: keeping a distance of at least one metre from someone who is sneezing and coughing; staying at home if ill; covering coughs and sneezes; and washing hands with soap and water.

    Behaviours recommended to reduce mortality include: keeping a sick person away from others; assigning a single care giver to a sick person; giving plenty of fluids to the sick person; and recognizing danger signs and seeking care promptly.




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    Post-Pandemic Resources

    What is post-pandemic? Frequently asked questions, WHO, August 2010

    WHO recommendations for the post-pandemic period, August 2010 


    Communication Resources

    Prevention H1N1, Moldova (in Russian)

    For more creative materials, visit the Avian and Pandemic Communication Resources site.

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