The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST) has released an information brochure for a recently launched programme on health and risk communication ‘Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH) with focus on COVID-19’. The brochure carries information on the genesis and need of such a mega programme in the country to address the issues of risks, crises, disasters, and uncertainties especially posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme focuses on enhancing public understanding and awareness of science and health for better preparedness to cope up with the present and future challenges.
Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Dept. of Science & Technology said that a wide array of programmes and activities built around awareness and outreach have been envisaged involving print, electronic, digital, folk and interactive media to reach out to large cross-sections of the society under the campaign. He added that the logo of the YASH programme given on the brochure has been designed to create a wave of peace and bliss and depicts a sense of overcoming the situation at large and would act as a harbinger of taking forward the messages of science, health, risk and awareness.
In view of providing authentic information in an interesting and interactive manner at the grass-root level, a comprehensive programme on health and risk communication with a focus on COVID 19 has been launched. The National Health & Risk Communication programme has been planned and being implemented in a big way with a mechanism of PAN India presence and reach. State Councils of Science & Technology have been involved. The three major ingredients of the programme include software/ content development, capacity development, and dissemination and outreach.
The activities are spread over six regions, East, West, North, South, Central and Northeast. Special communication modules are developed depending upon especially marked zones, and networking and training of communicators and volunteers for activities related to community health would be an advantage. The current scenario of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has posed concerns and challenges all around where scientific awareness and health preparedness can play a significant role to help combat the situation with translation and usage of authentic scientific information and to convey the risks involved and facilitate the communities to overcome the situation.
The information brochure highlights a comprehensive and effective science and health communication effort for promoting grass-root level appreciation and response on health and saving and shaping the lives of people at large, as well as building confidence, inculcating a scientific temper and promoting health consciousness among them. The brochure can be downloaded from www.dst.gov.in.