The importance of good communication in times of COVID-19

Information saves lives; and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where there has been an excess of information and false rumors, the Bolivian Red Cross has been developing different actions against disinformation, and to reach out with clear messages to the population.

In times of isolation, social media become a great way to stay close to people, and to bring them relevant and reliable information. The Bolivian Red Cross has developed a digital strategy that includes messages presented in an educational way, and videos where volunteers provide advice on different topics such as new ways to greet, how to use masks, how to wash hands, among others.

This strategy also includes a series of sessions broadcast on Facebook Live, which have been very well received, since they are not only a way to provide information, but also to listen to the population, and to be able to attend and answer their questions. The first transmission was Myth and Truths about COVID-19, which has reached more than 8,500 users, and which received a series of queries from the public such as “How to disinfect food?” “What care should be taken with a person with disabilities and the elderly?” “Can masks be reused?” and more; all these questions were answered on the broadcast. Since that first transmission, topics such as stress management or relaxation techniques for isolation times, domestic violence, and what comes after COVID-19, have been touched upon.

“We consider that the use of social media helps us not only to be able to give information, but also to know what people are thinking, what are their main concerns and doubts around COVID, and this allow us to be able to adjust the messages, so that they can address those information gaps. In addition, it has been a way to involve volunteers who are complying mandatory isolation, and who can help from their homes. In this way, although physically distance, the Red Cross remains close.”, says Mariela Miranda, Head of Communications for the Bolivian Red Cross.

But it is known that not everyone has access to the internet, for this reason, messages have also been broadcast through radio spots in Spanish, Quechua, Aymara and Guarani, in different parts of Bolivia. Also, volunteers have been spreading prevention measures in markets, such as hand washing and social distancing, using megaphones.

“I want to thank the Bolivian Red Cross for all their work, for all their love and the effort they make, informing and educating us with all the information they provide, whether it is to protect, prevent, or follow a protocol regarding day-to-day health.”, says Ale Marin, one of the most active users in BRC social media.

The Bolivian Red Cross is committed and will continue to provide information to all those who require it, in order to clarify doubts and questions of those who need it.

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