The WHO announced the launch of a messaging service in conjunction with partners WhatsApp and Facebook. The service, available only in English for now, has the potential to reach 2 billion people and help get reliable information to those who need it.
The service can be accessed through a link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp or by sending “hi” to the number 0041798931892. Once a conversation is activated, users can access a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19.
The WHO Health Alert will provide official information on topics such as how to protect yourself from infection, travel advice, and debunking Coronavirus myths. The service is initially launching in English but will be available in all six United Nations languages within the coming weeks (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.)
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO said: “Digital technology gives us an unprecedented opportunity for vital health information to go viral and spread faster than the pandemic, helping us save lives and protect the vulnerable. We are proud to have partners like Facebook and WhatsApp, that are supporting us in reaching billions of people with important health information.”
Since February, WhatsApp has reached out to dozens of governments to assist their efforts to provide accurate information to the general public. The WHO Health Alert is the latest official NGO or government helpline to become available on WhatsApp, joining the Singapore Government, The Israel Ministry of Health, the South Africa Department of Health, and KOMINFO Indonesia. We are actively working to launch local services with other countries as well.
WhatsApp also announced a $1M grant to the International Fact Checking Network to support fact-checking for the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, to report on rumors that may be circulating on various messaging services including WhatsApp or SMS.
—-Source – world Health organization —-