Coronavirus – Health and Governance Issues

What is ‘Infodemic’ Management?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Infodemic Management

Managing the “infodemic” has been a serious challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, says a Chief Scientist at World Health Organization (WHO).

Try this question for mains:

Q.‘Infodemic’ management these days has become a greater challenge than the actual course of pandemic management. Discuss.

Defining Infodemic

  • Infodemic implies too much information, including false or misleading information, particularly on social media.
  • It has led to confusion, risk-taking and ultimately mistrust towards governments and the public health response.

WHO framework for infodemics

  • The WHO has a framework for managing the coronavirus infodemic.
  • Infodemiology is now acknowledged by public health organizations and the WHO as an important emerging scientific field and critical area of practice during a pandemic.
  • From the perspective of being the first “infodemiolgist” who originally coined the term almost two decades ago, the author posts four pillars of infodemic management:
  1. Information monitoring (infoveillance)
  2. Building eHealth Literacy and science literacy capacity
  3. Encouraging knowledge refinement and quality improvement processes such as fact-checking and peer-review
  4. Accurate and timely knowledge translation, minimizing distorting factors such as political or commercial influences

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