Coronavirus (997) Managing the COVID-19 infodemic: Promoting healthy behaviours and mitigating the harm from misinformation and disinformation (2) WHO definition of infodemic

27 September, 2020

Neil thank you for sharing.

I read the definition of infodemics in this Joint statement and it seems to agree with what some of us said in our comments on the initial WHO definition, which tended to add 'oversupply of accurate information' to 'oversupply of dsi-and misinformation' in the same pool, and thus confused many researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders. This Joint statement defines infodemic as ' -------- An infodemic is an overabundance of information, both online and offline. It includes deliberate attempts to disseminate wrong information to undermine the public health response and advance alternative agendas of groups or individuals. Mis- and disinformation can be harmful to people’s physical and mental health; increase stigmatization; threaten precious health gains; and lead to poor observance of public health measures, thus reducing their effectiveness and endangering countries’ ability to stop the pandemic.------'.

It sounds clearer and surely less confusing. Oversupply of anything is not the best but in some parts of the world where any supply of accurate information is a huge challenge, too much supply (if that is possible in those places) will do only non fatal (if at all) e.g. individual inconvenience and an irritant but it will not cost lives.

Joseph Ana.

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:

Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: jneana AT