Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeHealthNCDC , UNICEF Launch Chatbot To Combat COVID-19 Misinformation in Nigeria

NCDC , UNICEF Launch Chatbot To Combat COVID-19 Misinformation in Nigeria

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), with support from
the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) through the
UReport platform, has launched an SMS based interactive chatbot to provide Nigerians with timely and accurate information on COVID-19. 

Currently, over 64,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Nigeria, with over 50,000,000 confirmed globally.

One of our NCDC’s key responsibilities as Nigeria’s
National Public Health Institute is to provide Nigerians with timely and accurate information to reduce their risk of infection.

This has been done through a website dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as an ongoing communications campaign
with the theme #TakeResponsibility. These have formed the cornerstone of public health
messaging on the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Our communications approach has leveraged social media, mainstream media and all other avenues to encourage Nigerians
to take responsibility for protecting themselves and loved ones and preventing the spread
of COVID-19.

This new COVID-19 chat bot will serve as an additional medium to access validated, vetted and accurate information about COVID-19 and government’s efforts to control the pandemic.

According to the Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, he said that, “At NCDC, we always
leverage opportunities to use technological solutions to enhance the delivery of our
mandate. Technology has been critical for strengthening our public health response to
COVID-19. This interactive chatbot is a welcome initiative that will be integrated into
existing technology deployed for communication at the NCDC. We are grateful to UNICEF
and partners for supporting our efforts to provide Nigerians with prompt and reliable
information on the COVID-19 pandemic.”

However, UNICEF Nigeria Representative , Peter Hawkins, hinted that, “COVID-19 is not to be taken lightly and needs to be discussed factually and accurately. We need to guard against
misinformation to help save lives. The new chatbot is a useful tool that provides vetted
and accurate information and response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

UReport is an innovative mobile social monitoring platform for community participation
to address issues that matter to young people. It is designed to give young people a
chance to voice their opinions on issues in their communities, encourage citizen-led
development and create a positive change. The chat bot can be accessed for free across
all networks via SMS by sending the word “coronavirus” to the shortcode 24453. Also,
Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp users can send the word “Coronavirus” to
+2349087401607 as well as via the UReport platform on Facebook via @ureportnigeria

The NCDC, under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Health, remains strongly
committed to protect the health of Nigerians. We urge the public to remain aware of the
risks of COVID-19 and to adhere to the preventive measures advised by the Presidential
Task Force on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments