With a focus on engaging communities, a broad range of partners came together in Malaysia to support a collective response to COVID-19. Spear-headed by the World Health Organization, a community engagement and risk communications working group was established in April 2020 with over 15 members.

With links to the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Health, partners included UN agencies, academic partners and international, national, and local aid organizations-including those working on the ground. Through this newly formed network, members have continuously worked together on a number of products, including creating a media toolkit for preventing and reducing stigma faced by vulnerable populations in the context of COVID-19, specifically, migrant workers and non-citizens in Malaysia. The toolkit was designed as an educational resource for journalists and highlighted the important role media plays in shaping public perceptions and knowledge. The toolkit will be utilized in upcoming trainings for media practitioners and journalists, organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, International Organization for Migration and Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development.

In addition, the working group collaborated to develop a video on Solidarity, “We are in this Together”, featuring different stakeholders and heads of agencies highlighting the crucial need for empathy and kindness during this time. Furthermore, within the network, WHO and UNICEF jointly produced a series of infographics providing public health advice for reopening schools. Various message packages were developed for students, parents, teachers and school management.

This network has helped create new and strengthen existing relationships and trust with partners in Malaysia. It has also created new channels to reach and engage different communities, especially those who are hard to reach or experiencing vulnerabilities.


[Source: WHO (Malaysia)]​​

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