Infectious diseases, including zoonotic infectious diseases, are some of the leading causes of the global burden of diseases. Public health education/promotion specialists are specifically trained in methods and theory to deliver risk communication that can help decrease the transmissibility, morbidity, and mortality of infectious diseases. However, the limited training of health educators in infectious disease dynamics represents a critical barrier for health educators wishing to engage in this work. In this commentary, we describe the importance of health education/promotion specialists being trained on infectious disease dynamics to engage in effective science and health communication locally and globally.
Health education and promotion specialists are trained to design, implement, and evaluate health programs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were some health education/promotion specialists indicating feeling underprepared for infectious disease prevention education. This paper describes the importance of training health educators about infectious diseases.
This paper encourages the fields of health education/promotion and medical geography work together to improve the training of the public health workforce.