“We’re not just fighting a pandemic; we're fighting an infodemic”
Large amounts of misinformation compromises the ability to deliver safe and effective care. A group of young doctors and medical students have found innovative ways to tackle this.
“SHARE THIS WITH YOUR LOVED ONES”… Another forward arrived in your inbox…
“NEW 5G MOBILE NETWORKS SPREADING COVID-19” blares the next line in bold.
This is usually followed by a sigh and closing WhatsApp, promptly.
Hands up if this has happened to you yet? I’d put both hands up, if I wasn’t writing this post.
We have all received some quite questionable advice about Covid-19 from relatives (turmeric and gargling warm water with salt come to mind). Previously, we would have shrugged it off, but we now sit in a very delicate time where this misinformation can cause genuine widespread harm. Covid-19 is also disproportionately affecting Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and we felt a responsibility to help get the right information out there to them, in an easily digestible format. As WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “We're not just fighting an epidemic; we're fighting an infodemic.”
To support this cause, we gathered a group of doctors, medical students and volunteers to create accessible infographics in as many languages as possible.
What is in our infographics? Our first infographic provides general information about Covid-19; such as common presenting symptoms, high-risk groups and the UK government’s current guidance on isolation and social distancing. Our second infographic focuses on evidence-based self-care for Covid-19 and when to seek medical assistance. We are planning to also tackle spread and prevention, common myths and in-hospital care.
Where do we source our information? We have been stringent with our sources, primarily compiling recommendations from the WHO, the NHS, Public Health England and NICE.
Our work is reviewed by other health professionals prior to publication. We endeavour to update our infographics as soon as new information is made available.
What languages are we translating into?
Our first two infographics have (so far) been translated into 20 languages, including: Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Urdu, Swahili and more. The full list of the languages is available on our website (see below).
What is our goal? By the end of this month, we aim release at least four infographics translated into more than 20 languages. Whilst doing so, we want to get these infographics out to those who need them most. Therefore, we need your help to build a community which shares our vision and widens the reach of our work. In embarking on this journey, we will be advocating for the availability of appropriate and inclusive health information materials for BAME communities.
And this is where you come in! Help us spread our materials as far and wide as possible! Share with anyone you think might benefit from any of our materials directly, or for use in the communities that they work in. If you want to volunteer in any capacity or think you can help us with getting our work out to those who need it most then please get in touch: [email protected]
We would like to thank our Covid-19 Infographics, which has been built upon the goodwill and hard work of volunteers.
Where can you find our work?
Dr Venu Manikavasagar
Foundation Year One Doctor
Dr Buland Majeed
Foundation Year One Doctor
The British Student Doctor Journal is starting a new series of articles to share the stories of healthcare workers and students tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
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