Coronavirus (952) Standing Up to Myths and Misinformation in Nigeria During the Pandemic

27 August, 2020

Extracts below from a news item on Inter Press Service. Full text: https://www.ipsnews.net/2020/08/standing-myths-misinformation-nigeria-pa...

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LAGOS, Aug 26 2020 (IPS) - ...

By the third week of the outbreak, people seemed to fall into two categories; those who believed in the existence of the virus and followed all instructions to combat its spread, and those who didn’t believe the virus exists or believed that it exists in some parts of the world but not in Nigeria. This second category was mostly responsible for the spread of myths and misinformation about the pandemic.

Tosin Wurola, a foodstuff trader in her early fifties at Ojodu Berger, Lagos, explained to me that if she does not see a COVID-19 positive case in her circle, then the virus does not exist. Sadly, she has probably succeeded in convincing most of her customers to think the same. This type of misinformation is common and could explain why there is little to no physical distancing observed in the markets...

There remains a belief that certain concoctions prevent and cure COVID-19. During my last awareness raising campaign at the General Market, Ipodo, Ikeja, some women shared home-made remedies, such as drinking alcohol or blended ginger and garlic, which they believe has kept them safe during the pandemic...

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org