Community matters - why outbreak responses need to integrate health promotion

Glob Health Promot. 2016 Mar;23(1):75-8. doi: 10.1177/1757975915606833. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


Communities are characterized by common interests, common ecology, and common social system or structure. These characteristics, qualities, and processes involved in the community affect both health behaviors and health outcomes during disease outbreaks. Hence, health promotion theorists and practitioners emphasize working 'with' rather than 'on' communities. They believe health promotion, with all its experiences in community mobilization, empowerment, and health literacy programs, should be part of disease prevention and control efforts from the very beginning. Health promotion knowledge needs to be fully integrated into infectious disease control, especially in the context of outbreaks.

Keywords: Ebola; community action; health promotion; outbreak response.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / methods
  • Communicable Disease Control / organization & administration*
  • Communicable Disease Control / standards
  • Community Health Services / methods
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Community Health Services / standards
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Promotion / standards
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pandemics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Power, Psychological