First Check broadens its horizons beyond Asia

First Check broadens its horizons beyond Asia

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The flagship initiative of DataLEADS and signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) takes its battle against medical misinformation to the global arena.

By Pushpita Dey

First Check, a flagship initiative of DataLEADS and signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), expands its footprint beyond Asia. New members from across the globe will strengthen this unique health fact-checking platform.

A collaborative global initiative, First Check brings together medical professionals, researchers, journalists and technologists on a common platform to identify and combat medical misinformation, rumours and unscientific claims.

Apart from the existing 34 members across Asia, 10 new members from diverse geographies, such as UK, Italy, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, The Gambia, The Republic of Chad and Democratic Republic of the Congo, have joined the dynamic First Check team.
Here’s a quick look at our new members:

Flaviano Ruzengwe

Flaviano Ruzengwe is the Port Health Officer at the Ministry of Health and Childcare, Zimbabwe. He has over five years of rich experience in the field of primary healthcare, particularly in community mobilization, sensitization, awareness, behaviour change advocacy, disease control, surveillance and communicable disease management.

Abara Erim

Abara Erim is a public health professional working with the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC). As a WHO-certified Infodemic Manager, he is responsible for managing communication during public health crises. He is also a member of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and Society for Health Communications.

Dr. Sameera Ranasinghe
Sri Lanka

Dr. Sameera Ranasinghe is a Doctor in Community Medicine at the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka. Armed with an M.Sc in Community Medicine and passion for data analysis, he has worked on several research projects related to public health. A WHO-trained infodemic manager, he is currently pursuing an M.D. in community medicine.

Dr. Ahmad Rousdy Noor

Dr. Ahmad Rousdy Noor is the Hospital Director of Prima Husada Hospital, Indonesia. A medical practitioner with expertise in hospital management, he is also the Director of Global Immunization Action Network Team (GIANT), Indonesia.

Dr. Raphael Byamungu
Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dr. Raphael Byamungu is a family medicine and primary healthcare practitioner in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa. He is also a member of the COVID-19 response team at the Heal Africa Hospital, Goma.

Dr. Adoumbaye Noubadoum
The Republic of Chad

Dr. Adoumbaye Noubadoum is a practising physician in the Republic of Chad, Africa. Currently in-charge of the UN dispensary in Gore, he is passionate about improving the quality of care for UN staff as well as supporting the fight against COVID-19 through vaccination and infodemic management.

Dr. Prerok Regmi

Dr. Prerok Regmi is an integrative medicine researcher, with a deep interest in Ayurveda research and practices. He is currently working as an Infodemic Manager in Nepal and as a Research Officer at the Nepal Health Research Council, Kathmandu.

Muhammed Saho
The Gambia

Muhammed Saho is a seasoned public health professional, currently working as a Technical Officer supporting the Primary Health Care Unit at the Ministry of Health, the Gambia. He has worked on several health projects in Africa with international organisations, including the WHO, CDC and UNICEF.

Dr. Nicola Simone

Dr. Nicola Simone is a biologist, currently working with the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), an Italian national public research institution. An expert on sensory analysis, food chemistry and food safety/protection, he also has a deep interest in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and other spectroscopy analysis.

Stephen Benbow
United Kingdom

Stephen Benbow is an allied healthcare professional, currently working with Wye Valley Trust, in Hereford, within the Theatres and Anaesthesia directorate. He specialises in clinical governance and risk mitigation. He also has the experience of working across Asia and with international media organisations in the Middle East and Africa.


When you encounter medical misinformation, think First Check! Drop us a WhatsApp message on +91 9311223145 or fill out a simple form on our website and our experts will fact-check the claim for you. Don’t fall for false claims.