Does the coronavirus outbreak highlight the importance of timely access to quality health information? What role can HIFA & its members play? (4)

20 February, 2020

Dear all,

Misinformation has played a major role in worsening the situation across the world in its rapid response to the Covid-19 creating a state of widespread panic especially with readily available access to social media as compared to a decade ago. Although this could be beneficial in many ways, it is being misused time and again to spread conspiracy theories and other forms of misinformation about the Covid-19.

It is of utmost importance to keep ourselves updated with information from trusted resources. FYI, the Imperial College London, is offering a Beginner's Level course titled:

Science Matters- Let's Talk about the Covid-19, with insights into the current status of the epidemic directly from experts.

Some of the small ways each of us could individually contribute to the spread of misinformation are:

1) Call out/report any posts on social media spreading misinformation

2) Encourage discussion forums and dialogues with younger generations (especially students) in your host institutions/organisations- since members of HIFA are placed in senior positions all around the world

3) Make information as simple and accessible by the lay public to be interpreted within your locality

Best wishes,

Stuti

HIFA Profile: Stuti Chakraborty is a 4th year student at Christian Medical College, Vellore. She is a member of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth for the SDG 3 working group, a member of the Commonwealth Youth Health Network, and a young peacebuilder at Youth for Peace International. She has also been a UN volunteer and contributed on various projects centred around WASH, Menstrual Health Awareness and Vocational provision for victims of gender abuse. Her areas of interest include: 1) Disability Prevention 2) Youth engagement in NCDs 3) Neurosciences 4) Community Based Rehabilitation 5) Youth SRHR 6) Gender inequality and disability.

Email: stutibb AT gmail.com