Social networks are contributing to the spread of misinformation about the vaccines being rolled out in DRC. One of the main consequences of this misinformation is public resistance to vaccines. With our Rumor Tracker tool, we collect public opinions on vaccines via SMS, phone calls - to get an idea of what specific misinformation is circulating in communities and how people are receiving it, and then counter it with accurate information via SMS and scheduled phone calls.
The COVID-19 pandemic is known as the greatest public health challenge of our time. For months, while thousands of people were infected and 700+ died from this deadly disease, the DR Congo has awaited a reprieve in the form of effective vaccines. Now that they're finally starting to roll out, there are many glaring questions and challenges, particularly around misinformation about vaccines.
SMS has already been proven to be highly effective for public health communications, including driving vulnerable populations to get vaccinated. With our "Rumour Tracker" tool, we are collecting citizens opinions about virus and vaccine via text message and phone calls to get a sense of what specific misinformation is out in communities about vaccines, and how people are getting it, and then countering that with accurate information through SMS and voicemail campaigns.
We plan to reach 10 million people in Kinshasa, Haut-Katanga, South-Kivu, and North-Kivu. Our main target are people living in conflict zones, people living in refugee camps, people living with existing diseases (HIV, tuberculosis, diabetes, heart problems), minority communities and prisoners.