Neil, thank you for sharing this publication. [ https://doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-20-00321 ]
The message rings true for other countries too: in Nigeria currently there is worry that a third surge of COVID-19 infections may be happening in parts of the country like Lagos, the commercial heartbeat and most populated city. Posts are appearing in the social media and other media and with it information of the high costs of treatment including oxygen. In the country most medical bills are covered by out-of-pocket payment by individuals, families and friends because the insurance cover is very patchy and never enough till now. there is also crowd-sourcing by friends and colleagues to chip-in.!
Individuals face the dilemma of whether to share these posts so that people take care and apply the preventing public health advice like wearing masks, handwashing and physical distancing, etc, or not because the post may be Fake, and they may have caused 'fear, panic and re-traumatising'?. But if the post turns out to be true and they have not shared it on time, they may have inadvertently caused delay in disseminating information that would have alerted people!.
This one more complication of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Trying to avoid sharing misinformation / fake news may inadvertently lead to delay in dissemminating genuine Alert and early preventive action.
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