The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched an interactive experience on Facebook Messenger on April 14 to help people with “accurate and timely” information on COVID-19. The UN health agency has already been providing the latest news and information on coronavirus via WhatsApp.
Messenger users will now be able to ask queries and receive quick answers from WHO’s “Health Alert” interactive service. It can be accessed through the WHO’s official Facebook page by selecting Send Message or through the dedicated Messenger link.
Stan Chudnovsky, Vice President of Messenger, said that the WHO Health Alert service has already reached more than 12 million people through WhatsApp and now the health agency will be able to expand their reach with important information. “This is critical as widespread misinformation can create unnecessary fear and panic in this already trying time,” said Chudnovsky in a statement.
Earlier, Messenger had announced a program to partner with developers to provide free services to government health organisations to scale their COVID-19 response. It has partnered with Sprinklr to help with things like automating responses to frequently asked questions to take some burden off the overwhelmed staff.
Over 20 governments and organizations have launched Messenger experiences including UNICEF, the Government of India, Argentina’s Ministry of Health, the Government of France, and Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services. Chudnovsky said that the company is pleased that the WHO has decided to use Messenger, and through their partnership with Sprinklr was able to deploy the experience so quickly.
“We will continue to leverage the unique nature and reach of the Messenger platform to help people everywhere connect during this unprecedented moment,” said Messenger VP.
Facebook has also announced new Data for Good tools to support health researchers and nonprofit organisations. It includes three new types of Disease Prevention Maps to help inform disease forecasting efforts and protective measures. It has come up with a prompt on Facebook encouraging people in the US to participate in a voluntary survey from Carnegie Mellon University Delphi Research Center to help identify COVID-19 hotspots.