The UK Health Security Agency: The Mpox outbreak – how we helped navigate a public health emergency

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) partnered with retained agencies Basis and Discovery to launch a rapid response to suppress the transmission of Monkeypox by building behavioural and attitudinal insights to drive understanding, and form the foundation of a communications strategy.


On 23rd July 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Monkeypox (Mpox) an international public health emergency. Confirmed cases rose rapidly, reaching almost 3,000 in England by early August. The higher level of transmission was within the social networks of non-monogamous gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men (GBMSM).

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) needed to act fast to suppress transmission. It partnered with Basis and Discovery to build behavioural and attitudinal insights that would drive understanding and form the basis of a communication strategy.

Crucially, the research needed to enable UKHSA to hear the voices of...

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