Quality (119) COVID-19 communication and community engagement (4)

9 July, 2021

Thank you Moses Orfega (Nigeria) and Bernard Seytre (France) for your comments on trust and people's attitude to COVID-19 and the vaccine.

As we have discussed previously on HIFA, the people's trust - in their government, health system, public health messaging - is crucial not only for COVID-19 communication but for all areas of health care, self-care and health decision making.

The WHO Publication Quality health services: a planning guide (2020) recognises the importance of trust in at least two aspects:

'Poor quality health services – particularly unsafe care – can decrease people’s trust in the health system.'

'Stakeholder and community engagement are pivotal to building trust within the health system and ensuring that service delivery is centred on people.'


This implies that COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy cannot be addressed by specific means alone. A holistic approach is needed to build quality of care, engaging communities meaningfully and visibly in the process.

And it provides part of the answer to our current question 'Why is it important to make the case for quality of care?'. It's important not only for direct health outcomes, but also for building the people's trust (which in turn promotes public health).

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, WHO-HIFA Collaboration: HIFA project on Learning for Quality Health Services


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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health movement (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org