The inspiration for building infodemics.com was a result of efforts by the Regional Pandemic Prevention Program hackathon organised by the German Government through GiZ in the ECOWAS regions of Africa.
What it does:
Infodemics is a risk communication platform developed in Nigeria, West Africa due to recurrent plagues of epidemics and the need for proper communication during disease outbreaks.
Risk communication refers to the exchange of real-time information, advice and opinions between experts and people facing threats to their health, economic or social well-being.
SMS or text messaging were used successfully to track and combat rumours and to communicate with people in quarantined areas during the West African Ebola virus outbreak. Nigerians used mobile phones to disseminate Ebola messages, however a great deal of these were myths and misconceptions that led to harmful practices.
Infodemics.com is a platform that puts together technology to provide health risk information, advice and opinions (via SMS, email, USSD, IVR and similar communication tech) by experts to people facing threats to their health, economic or social well-being irrespective of their location and social status. These messages are strategically disseminated to leaders of circles in communities (especially religious, traditional and youth leaders) and groups who serve as trusted message sources for the community. Messages are relayed according to the language of each group and sent as such to enable proper understanding.
The platform collects enough data to be able to offer analytics for disease surveillance and outbreak management in terms of personnel and resources.
Currently the world is plagued with Coronavirus and as such Infodemics has released an application for its platform: the COVID-19 tracker that monitors those who the government is unable to cater for: those with possible infection but are currently self isolating. This simple tool helps people who are self isolating to get a case by case attention of the CDCs and Federal Health Ministries.
Persons who are currently self isolated or want a test done fill out a short questionnaire and are referred directly to the CDC. Because the CDCs are currently overburdened, the Infodemics platform helps makes triage easier. A map is also available to show cases and offer location based insight to aid support and follow up by the necessary authorities, ensuring an advanced preparedness and proper risk communication.
We are proud that Infodemics was recognised by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as a potentially important tool in combating future epidemic outbreaks. We were also recognised by the WHO and UNICEF during the Lassa Fever International Conference (LIC) as great potential for risk communication in especially rural communities.
In October 2019, Infodemics was invited to the GIANT Health Event Stamford Bridge London where after a beautiful presentation we emerged winners of the Addressing Health Inequalities category.
We are currently scaling up to support Africa and the entire world with self isolation mapping, risk communication, disease surveillance and other social needs that will come up in these times. We have opened parts of our API to help other who may also wish to build same.