Healthcare MISinformation: what can be done?

12 October, 2019

Dear Neil & Colleagues,

HIFA's vision is "A world where every person will have access to the healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of those for whom they are responsible"

What can be done about MISinformation?

A couple of quotes from an article on the Guardian website: (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/12/school-gates-breeding-gr...)

'Last month, experts expressed alarm at the drop in take-up of routine childhood vaccinations across England.'

and

'Simon Stevens [Chief Executive of the National Health Service in England] said it was often the parents who did their best to find out more about the impact and effect of vaccines on their children who were liable to be deceived by “fake news”.

I'm aware that there are various initiatives and ways in which misinformation and misconceptions are being tackled, e.g.

The Vaccine Confidence Project: https://www.vaccineconfidence.org/

WHO Global Vaccine Safety Initiative: https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/detection/immunization_mis...

What role can HIFA members and the organisations that they represent play? For example, are there ways in which countries can learn from each other, are there global actions that can be encouraged or supported, etc?

I merely raise this as a point of discussion among HIFA members.

Best wishes

Julie

HIFA profile: Julie N Reza is a UK-based specialist in communications for biosciences, global health & international development (www.globalbiomedia.co.uk). She predominantly works with NGOs and not-for-profit organisations. Previously she was the senior science editor at TDR, based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; prior to this she worked at the Wellcome Trust, UK, leading educational projects on international health topics including trypanosomiasis and trachoma. She has a PhD in immunology and a specialist degree in science communication. She also has several years research and postgraduate teaching experience. She is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and HIFA Social Media Working Group. www.hifa.org/people/steering-group www.hifa.org/people/social-media www.hifa.org/support/members/julie naimareza AT hotmail.com