Facebook recently pledged to direct millions of its users to WHO’s accurate and reliable vaccine information in several languages, “to ensure that vital health messages reach people who need them the most.”
WHO, Facebook team up vs vaccine fake news
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The World Health Organization (WHO) is confronting vaccine misinformation spread through social media as it teamed up with Facebook to curb the anti-vaccination movement that has become a “global crisis,” according to scientists and health professionals.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, commended Facebook, which earlier committed to making “users find facts about vaccines across Instagram, Facebook search, groups, pages and forums where people seek out information and advice.”

Facebook recently pledged to direct millions of its users to WHO’s accurate and reliable vaccine information in several languages, “to ensure that vital health messages reach people who need them the most.” 

WHO and Facebook have been in discussions for several months to ensure that people can access authoritative information on vaccines and reduce the spread of inaccuracies, Ghebreyesus said.

“Vaccine misinformation is a major threat to global health that could reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable diseases,” he added.

The WHO said that many debilitating and deadly diseases can be effectively prevented by vaccines and stressed that major digital organizations have a responsibility to their users – to ensure that they can access facts about vaccines and health.

“It would be great to see social and search platforms come together to leverage their combined reach… We want digital actors doing more to make it known around the world that #VaccinesWork,” he said.

Branded by scientists and medical practitioners as a “man-made health crisis,” the anti-vaccine movement can be traced to have begun as early as the 18th century. Reasons for vaccine hesitancy varied through the years and in many regions of the world, and included sanitary, religious, scientific and political objections.

Ghebreyesus added that WHO wants innovation “that supports healthy behaviors to save lives and protect the vulnerable.”

However, he said that many children whose parents fully support vaccination currently lack access to these life-saving tools.   

“These online efforts must be matched by tangible steps by governments and the health sector to promote trust in vaccination and respond to the needs and concerns of parents. Let’s not miss more opportunities to prevent the spread of some of the world’s deadliest diseases,” he added. 

FACEBOOK VACCINE FAKE NEWS WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
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