In the last 18 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has spread around the world and dominated news headlines. Alongside it has grown an “infodemic”, defined by the World Health Organisation as “too much information including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during a disease outbreak”.
The impact of half-truths, hoaxes and misleading information can be deadly. It can lead to the misallocation of limited funds and poor individual health decisions.
The public and policymakers in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa make decisions every day based on the best information available to them. But often that information is misleading or wrong.
Low levels of media literacy can make it harder for people to examine the avalanche of information that hits them, especially on social media.
To address these challenges, Africa Check has launched a media literacy campaign to empower the youth to critically engage with online information and question health claims about Covid-19 and vaccines.
The goal is to improve the quality of public debate and enable evidence-based decision-making.
Know the Facts Get the Vax
Africa Check’s Know the Facts Get the Vax series helps the public learn more about Covid-19 and how to understand and use healthcare information. It also explains the different vaccines: how they were developed and how they work.
The transnational series includes videos, podcast episodes and graphics, in English, Hausa, Kiswahili, Pidgin, Wolof and isiZulu. It covers key health issues and aims to guide decision making.
In episode 15, we explain how Covid-19 vaccines were developed so quickly and calm fears that the speedy development compromises their safety.
While you might’ve been able to stay accurately informed about the pandemic, some of your family or friends might still fall victim to misinformation. In episode 20 episode of Know the Facts Get the Vax we look at how to deal with that aunty who keeps sharing Covid-19 conspiracies on WhatsApp.
Calling out misinformation is an art – especially with friends and family. It needs to be done with compassion and patience. The goal is to help others find the facts in a way that is kind and easy to understand.
*This article was written by Africa Check, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the original piece on their website: africacheck.org