Coronavirus (757) 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference

19 June, 2020

Dear HIFA colleagues,

I have just learned about this highly relevant conference, thanks to HIFA member Irina Ibraghimova (Country Representative for Croatia). I have registered and I encourage all HIFA members to do the same. In the meantime I would like to invite comments and discussion on HIFA. Please email your comments to:


1st WHO Infodemiology Conference

30 June - 16 July 2020

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the phenomenon of an ‘infodemic’ has escalated to a level that requires a coordinated response. An infodemic is an overabundance of information - some accurate and some not - occurring during an epidemic. It makes it hard forr people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. Even when people have access to high-quality information, there are still barriers they must overcome to take the recommended action. Like pathogens in epidemics, misinformation spreads further and faster and adds complexity to health emergency response.

An infodemic cannot be eliminated, but it can be managed. To respond effectively to infodemics, WHO calls for adaptation, development, validation and evaluation of new evidence-based measures and practices to prevent, detect and respond to mis- and disinformation.

In the context of this meeting, “infodemiology” is defined as the science of managing infodemics. The overall aim of this consultation is to take stock of relevant research and effective practices and define public health research needs in order to advance this field. The working language of the meeting will be English.


· Understand the multidisciplinary nature of infodemic management;

· Identify current examples and tools to understand, measure and control infodemics;

· Build a public health research agenda to direct focus and investment in this emerging scientific field; and

· Establish a community of practice and research.


· Experts from the fields of Epidemiology & Public Health; Applied Math & Data Science; Digital Health and Technology Applications; Social & Behavioral Science; Media Studies & Journalism; Marketing, UX & Design; Risk Communication and Community Engagement; Ethics & Governance and other relevant scientific disciplines and practices

· UN agencies

· Public health authorities

In the pre-conference experts engage with the public with 7 inspiring talks how the infodemic affects the world currently and reflections how it can be managed.

The conference will be a closed session focused on defining the scientific discipline of infodemiology and establish a community of practice and research. The results of the closed session will be reported back to the public in a Public Summary.

The public summary will be a public interactive webinar with a discussion of the conclusions of the scientific conference and next steps. Anyone can join in, listen, and submit questions on Slido.

Key dates

29 June: Public conference

30 June-16 July: Scientific conference with closing session

21 July: Public webinar


You are invited to a Zoom webinar:

When: 21 July 2020 15:00 CET

Topic: Outcomes of the first WHO global infodemiology conference

Register in advance for this webinar:

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Pre-conference: 1st WHO Infodemiology Conference


Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: