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Communicable disease control is a challenging endeavour and as such more knowledge is needed to identify what underpins the practice of disease prevention. Health communication is integral to the effective public health response to the continuing threat posed by communicable diseases, and it is clear that the complexities and the multidisciplinary nature of health communication involve a vast range of skills drawing from a number of disciplines including health, education, public health, health promotion, social marketing and information technology.

 

From these disciplines, health promotion in particular is well recognised as contributing to consistent progress in areas of non-communicable diseases prevention, e.g. accidents prevention, fighting against smoking. Examples from communicable disease areas where health promotion works well are very limited and mainly related to HIV/AIDS. Health education is also recognised as having a consistent contribution to improving knowledge and behaviours related to healthy lifestyles. Within this broad background, there is very limited evidence on how health promotion and health education contributes to communicable diseases prevention and how the gap between the two areas - non-communicable and infectious diseases - can be bridged.