This is why we must all fight the infodemic fight with gusto where ever we are in the world. There was similar misinformation when HIV/AIDS first broke, some people diagnosed with the disease deliberately went around practicing unsafe sex to spread the epidemic. Gradually as effective treatment was found and people became more knowledgeable about it, and it stopped being a death sentence, attitudes changed, stigmatisation dropped as countries legislated against it, etc. Education, Education and Education was crucial in changing attitudes and stemming the disease all over the world.
Perhaps the main difference then and now, under COVID-19, is that the world was one and united in the fight against HIV. Global leadership was not in doubt. The doubting Thomases were not in the corridors of power. There was patience and trust in scientific processes to produce effective drugs, and probably more objectivity, less division amongst nations, etc.
HIFA Profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: www.hriwestafrica.com Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.
Email: jneana AT yahoo.co.uk