Coronavirus (1325) Vaccine hesitancy (5) Vaccine misinformation in Nigeria (2)

12 July, 2021

Very interesting, Neil. [ ]

What are the underlying reasons for lack of trust?

There are many. But I will sum them up to poor governance.

I'll give you an example. You may have heard of the #EndSARS protest late last year (2020) in the country. That protest led to the discovery of palliatives that were hoarded in some warehouses across the country while the citizens were subjected to hardship occasioned by the lock-downs.

In what ways can social media contribute to, or mitigate, mistrust?

The social media has already done a lot, and is still doing more. Unfortunately, the social media has higher tendency to be abused. And sadly, a lot of people have more access to, and confidence in social media than those owned by the government. But it all depends on the willingness of government authorities to partner with, and harness the potential of the social media for positive results.

In countries where there is a high level of mistrust, what can governments/ministries of health do better to channel their messaging? Or should there be more emphasis on other channels such as religious leaders and celebrities?

A combined approach would help. In such circumstances, the private media should take the lead, supported and regulated by the state owned media in partnership. In general, the public sector and the private sector should see each other as partners in progress. And yes, religious leaders and celebrities have key roles to play in disseminating the right information.

Again, this would depend on the willingness and ability of the government to harness this potential.

HIFA profile: Moses Kumaoron Orfega is a Service Improvement Desk Officer at the National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigeria. Professional interests: Social Protection and Financing; Social Health Protection and Universal Health Coverage; Service Quality Improvement; Information Technology. He is a HIFA catalyst for the WHO/HIFA project on Learning for Quality Health Services. Email: ofegamoses AT