At Viamo we believe information is power. During this pandemic, informed and empowered populations are better equipped with the knowledge they need to take measures that reduce the risk of transmission, which in turn helps protect themselves and their communities. While reliable information can empower citizens, misleading, ambiguous, or false information by contrast, can have serious negative public health consequences.
From our report series based on Viamo’s 3-2-1 Service COVID-19 Survey, we share with you our findings about information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In partnership with researchers from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Viamo developed 12 separate questionnaires, each addressing a specific COVID-related topic (knowledge of COVID-19, attitudes towards the pandemic, preventive behaviors, motivation, impact on food security, income, mental health, etc.). We implemented the surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, Madagascar, Malawi, and Rwanda. Results presented here are from Wave 1 of the Survey, collected in May.
1. Many people lack access to trustworthy information about COVID-19: Of all people surveyed across five countries, 41.6% reported that they were not able to get trustworthy information or were unsure if they could access trustworthy information about COVID-19.
Fig 1: Percentage of respondents who report they are able to get trustworthy information about COVID-19
2. Radio is an essential information source for vulnerable populations: In all five countries radio is the most common channel for information, followed by television, and mobile-based channels such as WhatsApp, social media, or the 3-2-1 Service.
Fig 2: Percentage distribution of respondents most common source of information
3. Lack of trust in some information channels may render them ineffective: Overall, nearly one third of respondents (30.5%) report that they do not trust their preferred information channel, but this varies greatly by channel and by country. The most trusted sources are radio (75.2%) and the 3-2-1 Service (74.7%).
Fig 3: Percentage of respondents who trust their main source of information
We are looking to partner with organizations to increase the depth and scale of this data collection exercise, as well as organizations that can help us take additional action to improve access to information in order to empower all persons to improve their health and well-being. Thank you in advance for your partnership and we look forward to sharing more highlights from the 3-2-1 COVID-19 Survey.
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