The World Health Organization (WHO) has entered into a partnership with Facebook and Praekelt.org, a South African based company, to provide data-free information on the COVID-19 pandemic to the vulnerable populace across the globe.
The organization stated that the partnership is a crucial step it has to take in a bid to fight misinformation and ensure that accurate health information and resources on COVID-19 are made available to all.
When announcing the deal, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General said, “Through this collaboration, we will be able to communicate to some of the most vulnerable people in more than 50 countries by providing them with lifesaving health information without data charges.”
The innovation adopts the functions of Free Basics and Discover by Facebook; Free Basics and Discover provide individuals with access to essential services on their phones in locations where internet access may be expensive. The WHO’s COVID-19 platform has been included in the list of websites available for free on Free Basics and Discover by Facebook.
Also, Praekelt.org has been working with Free Basics and Discover for several years now. The programme provided NGOs and social enterprises with the tools and support required to deliver services to poor communities through mobile.
“Following the successful launch of WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp in March, we are highly honoured to proceed on our partnership with the World Health Organization and Facebook to widen the reach of COVID-19 information and resources as the virus accelerates globally,” MD of Praekelt.org, Debbie Rogers said.
The new partnership between the WHO, Praekelt.org, and Facebook has birthed an easy-to-navigate WHO website. The website provides the general public with detailed information on how to protect oneself and others from the COVID-19 and also, how to look after one’s physical and mental well-being.
The website also features a section for the health care workers advising them on the use of masks and personal protective equipment.
As of now, the website is available in English, French, and Spanish Language options. Other languages will be added as they become available.