As the fight against COVID-19 continues, the scientific community is fighting another battle too - the infodemic. This fight can be won only if trusted medical institutions and healthcare practitioners join forces.
By John Aloyzeus Reotutar
We live in a world where anti-vaxxers, quack doctors, and conspiracy theorists seem to thrive. Making an attempt to have meaningful discussions, especially on social media, may seem like a hopeless endeavour. More so, when the statements of incompetent celebrities enhance the credibility of pseudoscience reports.
As the fight against COVID-19 continues, the scientific community is fighting another battle too - the infodemic. This fight can be won only if trusted medical institutions and healthcare practitioners join forces. In the Philippines, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) has noted how important fighting misinformation is and why we need to place more trust in our scientific community.
We need more professionals from the medical and scientific community to champion the cause of fact-checking in health. We need more microbiologists, immunologists, gastroenterologists, and other domain experts to actively provide simple and easily accessible information. Given that inaccurate and scientifically dishonest information can be injurious to health, scientific research must be easy to find and share.
There are several things that can be done to strengthen our fight against health misinformation. No individual or organization can win this win alone; we need collaborative efforts with a shared goal to combat this epidemic.
(The author is a First Check member, biologist & writer based in Philippines.)