We, as Sabri Ülker Foundation, are hosting a conference on an international scale in the 5th year of Nutrition and Health Communication Program, bringing sustainable projects with the objective of providing correct and updated information, obtained from reliable sources, in nutrition, food and healthy living for all segments of the society to contribute to the future of public health. We have organized a program in the nutrition and health communication conference that will continue for two days that can be beneficial for expert journalists, blog writers, faculty of medicine and healthcare professionals in the fields of COVID-19, food and health.
Implementation, evaluation and adoption of health communication processes and their management processes will be analyzed and scientifically accepted methods on principles of nutrition and health communication will be shared. In addition to theoretical information on the relationship between nutrition and health, the program will offer the participants many perspectives in a great variety of specific fields about nutrition and health communication.
On the first day of the conference which will be held online, while the health communication which has become more important with the pandemic period, is discussed with the valued contributions of experts from Turkey and the World. On the Second day, importance of strategically planned effective media communication in the pandemic period and the roles it assumes will be discussed in the workshop which will be held at Communication Sciences Institute.
After COVID-19 epidemic having been announced as an epidemic throughout the world by World Health Organization (WHO), it caused the media to be positioned as the main source of a lot of information on the public agenda of the nations such as the course of the disease, death rates, treatment methods and protection measurements. It can be seen that the speed of health communication in reaching the masses in especially during epidemic periods is much higher than that of the virus that causes the epidemic. Change in health behavior is seen as the greates hope for decreasing the load of preventable diseases and deaths throughout the world. A global problem that we are also still fighting in our country, creating health behavior change to protect from the COVID-19 epidemic and fight the disease is among the most important targets of all health professionals and health authorities, primarily, WHO.
Approaching behavioral risk factors (not observing practices such as projected medical scans and prevention and disease management) in terms of health communication impact, related to global health threats such as epidemics, has a critical importance for the world health. Interactive health communication can also offer new choices for behavioral medicine and preventive medicine. Strategically planned effective media communication can actually assume many elements and central role in creating a behavioral change necessary for the protection and treatment processes throughout the epidemic.
An epidemic that affects public health and soicety deeply was encountered when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020. This process caused us to experience a different dimension of life we know and are used to live. This resulted in long term restrictions, a series of epidemic measures and quarantine concept becoming a normal part of our lives. A new concept that has entered our lives in addition to all these changes we have experienced: “Monitoring” phenomenon that allows governments and companies to monitor and control the spread of the virus and ensures that the citizens observe the precautions they put into practice. For both the epidemic and public health, the importance of humans interpreting the information, they have obtained about the epidemic through the sources of communication producing scientific, updated and sufficient news in an environment of uncertainty, created by the epidemic, can be seen. It seems possible to increase the physical and mental endurance of public against the epidemic only through correct and careful preparation of communication plans and the developed statements. In this context, it appears that opening up the rights and wrongs of communication strategies, used by the sources of communication that play the most important role in informing the people during the epidemic period, to discussion is one of the most important issues.
We believe that scientific communication will solve this problem through the existing research, explaining the problems and difficulties, related to these, and perhaps most importantly its benefits for the society better. We aim to attract attention to the importance of correct scientific communication with this training program. We think that adoption of correct scientific communication by both healthcare professionals and journalists in the fields of nutrition and health can be provided for people more correctly and in a more understandable manner and infollution that affects public health negatively can be prevented.
We aim to contribute to the improvement of public health by relaying fundamental information in the field of the science of nutrition and scientific information communication to the students of medicine and healthcare profesionals and also expert journalists and bloggers in the field of health. The conference may help the communication specialsts to understand the concepts and language, specific to the science of nutrition better and provide the necessary skills for interpreting the relevant consumer research, related to nutrition.
It is aimed to bring together the experts in the field of health communication and to throw light on the reflections, COVID-19 epidemic has created on the goverment and health policies in the scope of the “Health Communication in the Pandemic Era,” conference program which will be held on 7-8 December.
Thus, the purpose of the program is as follows;
- Determining the requirements of health communication with the aim of having a positive effect in a sustainable framework for both physical and mental health of the public during epidemic periods,
- Bringing the skill of conveying scientifici literature and proof based information more correctly and consciously,
- Providing an idea on how nutrition communicators think and what they feel when they get in touch with the media,
- Telling about the key role, played by the journalits in spreading the information and news, related to problems of nutrition,
- Telling about the key role and the repsonsibility one has as a healthcare professional in conveying the information and news, related to problems of nutrition, to the society,
- Bringing the awareness of using means of mass media in a correct and ethical manner.