I recently participated in a panel discussion on “Health Communication: Risk & Strategies during COVID-19” at the International Communications Association (ICA) Conference (South Asia Regional Hub) on 29 May 2022. This session was also streamed at the main ICA Conference in Paris. The session was chaired by Manjula Venkataraghavan of the Manipal Academy of Higher Education. Other panelists included Hezekiel Deamini of UNESCO, and Communications Practitioner, V. V. Sundar.
I drew on LIRNEasia’s 2021 nationally representative survey in Sri Lanka to discuss the use of, and trust in, information channels relating to COVID-19 vaccination processes. I shared that two-thirds of those who obtained information on where and how to get vaccinated in Sri Lanka did so through televisions.
Further, television was the channel most trusted amongst those who used it. Users also trusted visits, calls and messages from government officials such as grama niladharis and public health inspectors, along with public announcements via loudspeakers.