Right now, everyone is well informed and updated as the world continues to battle the COVID-19. During the outbreak, there were sufficient verifiable updates from government sources and other concerned global health bodies.
However, with time, another epidemic – misinformation – emerged.
It has ranged from exaggerated conspiracy theories, racial prejudice to presumed medications. Luckily, we can combat misconception surrounding the coronavirus with the information we consume.
WHO official websites, waiting for government press releases or use other certified news outlets to help you dispel harmful misconceptions about the virus.
World Health Organization (WHO) website
WHO offers governance on global public health and policy. It has focused on controlling and ultimately eradicating infectious diseases like swine flu, zika virus, and ebola epidemic that have grappled the world similar to what we see with COVID-19.
Over the past few months, WHO has monitored health trends, issued updates, and medical advice that can aid in containing the coronavirus crisis.
Its website is interactive with an up-to-date overview, prevention, and symptoms of COVID-19.
It recently launched a chatbot that you can subscribe to get the latest information about the virus and the protective measures.
Right now, their website has over 50 situational reports covering the COVID-19 global pandemic.
With its regional diversification, WHO has partnered with other health organizations like CDC, AMREF and national government to ensure the public is well informed and updated.
Ministry of Health website
The Ministry of Health (MoH) closely works with WHO and other accredited health providers. Aligned with Kenya’s vision 2030, MoH offers guidelines on health sectors in Kenya.
The ministry has currently been on the frontline to provide daily updates about coronavirus. MoH website provides a national tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases and reported deaths.
MoH emergency hotline numbers are 0732353535 and 0729471414. Use this to alert MoH on suspected instances of COVID-19 or make inquiries. Contact medics or MoH when you exhibit any symptom like shortness of breath, fever, exhaustion, and dry cough.
Government Press release
These are brief statements concerning matters of public interest issued by the government or its subordinate. The government, in conjunction with MoH, issues a daily press release on the current situation of COVID-19 in Kenya.
These updates are usually broadcasted on TV and radio to give you an accurate picture of events happening around the country. The press release, straight from the horse’s mouth, will be essential to help you gather precise information.
They are also uploaded in the government websites for future references.
International media outlets
Pandemics often attract misconceptions and information overload. Overall, media channels give the ideal platform to dispel myths.
The current coronavirus global health crisis has proved that the media can respond responsibly and effectively.
A global outlook will assist you in getting credible and authentic information about COVID-19.
You can learn how other countries drastically contained the spread of the coronavirus through international media stations like CNN, BBC or Aljazeera. ‘Information is a powerful tool’ – you can embrace the same efforts.
Local mainstream media
Our local media outlets have kept us updated about COVID-19. Media Stations like Citizen, NTV, KTN, k24 and KBC, among others, have sufficient resources to give press updates and nullify myths surrounding COVID-19.
Digital technology has even eased the process. Social networks are leading, in complementing and supplementing what professional media houses are offering. However, be careful to sort, verify and contextualize digital information.
It is also advisable to minimize forwarding of information shared through social media as they are perfect ground for misinformation and can fuel panic and anxiety. Stick to credible media outlets when using social media.
How to find accurate information from the internet
Undeniably, the internet offers valuable information. However, caution must be exercised to ensure information is accurate.
Maybe you are doing a random search on the internet about COVID-19 but cannot differentiate between correct and incorrect information.
Here are some clues that can help you determine credible sources.
- Website sponsor
Website sponsors usually appear on top or at the sidebar of the webpage. The ‘About Us’ captures descriptions about the organization and its sponsors. Sponsors with a vested interest in profit-making are less likely to give you balanced and accurate information.
- Check the web address.
The authenticity of information hinges on the suffix of the website address. Sites ending with .gov implies it is government-owned. Feel safe when on such pages. Webs having the .edu ends are affiliated to education institutions. You can trust their content but be keen on the authors. Non-profit organizations have the .org and are often designated for community-based activities. Be alert when using .net or .com websites since they are for public use. Consider using government sites like MoH and education-based Educause when seeking information about COVID-19.
- Do fact-checking
Websites with numerous interlinks and citations have reliable contents. If you are not sure, you can fact-check against other reputable sources like the .org or .edu websites.
As the medical experts combine efforts to contain COVID-19, we can join hands to combat misinformation.
WHO, media outlets and the government uses social media to give precise information about coronavirus.
Put these platforms to good use.
Prioritize ‘reputable’ sources and fact-check information that seems scanty and possibly fabricated.