Proceedings of The 4th International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences
International Communications about Cholera in 2017 and 2018: The case of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Amalia Daka, Rong Yuan, Yalan Liu
This research project focused on international communications on the cholera crisis in Yemen from 2017 to 2018. More specifically, we examined the impact of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) communications during the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by comparing the key messages of MSF communication products, such as press releases and statements, with the different narratives regarding the crisis produced by the nine selected international media: New York Times, BBC, Asharq Al-Awsat, Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, TRT, PressTV, Sputnik, and Russia Today (RT). We also observed if MSF was mentioned positively, neutrally, or negatively in international media, to further understand if the messages of MSF communications regarding the cholera crisis in Yemen were (a) accurately picked up by the international media (b) and if there were cases of message distortion such as misinterpretations and misquotes. Our research also explored the role of communications for epidemic preparedness and management, the structure of MSF, the communication strategy, and the procedure for conducting press releases generally and in emergency situations. Moreover, MSF was associated with medical-related information and the reference of MSF remained limited in comparison with other IGOs in our identified media. Finally, we hope that this research will lead to a future reflection among the MSF staff in the Communications Department on current roadblocks in MSF communications in comparison with their capabilities.
keywords: Cholera, Communication Strategy, Doctors without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Yemen.