The Facebook COVID-19 Information Centre is a portal featured at the top of the social network’s News Feed, that provides a central place for people to stay informed about the Coronavirus pandemic.
It includes real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations such as the World Health Organization, as well as helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
As of last week, Facebook users in Botswana can opt to follow the centre to get notifications and see updates in their News Feed from official Botswana government health authorities, WHO and UNICEF.
Botswana joins 23 other countries in Africa in which Facebook first launched the COVID-19 Information Centre in early April. These include South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and The Democratic Republic of Congo.
“We’ve built the information centers, in collaboration with national health partners, to ensure that people can get access to information from trusted health sources. The launch of the COVID-19 Information Centre on Facebook across sub-Saharan Africa aligns with our commitment to making accurate, timely information about the pandemic accessible to all communities’, commented Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Africa, Kojo Boakye.
For his part, eBotho Campaign Coordinator, David Moepeng welcomed the move by Facebook, saying it will go a long way in reducing the proliferation of misinformation on the COVID-19 pandemic, especially on social media networks.
eBotho Campaign is an initiative by InFuture Foundation launched in February 2020 to raise awareness among Batswana on cybersecurity and safety issues. The Campaign runs educational messages in the media promoting safe, responsible and productive use of the internet.
“Information is a powerful weapon, particularly in a fight such as the ongoing battle against COVID-19, and the more people are informed, the better chance of victory against the pandemic,” noted Moepeng.