Facebook has today announced that they have expanded their COVID-19 Information Center to 17 more countries in Sub Saharan Africa which includes Kenya. It was first launched in South Africa.
“The Information Centers form part of Facebook’s effort to help the global fight against COVID-19 by providing people with the latest news and information from trusted health authorities as well as resources and tips to stay healthy and support their family and community,” Facebook said.
The 17 African countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, DRC, and Togo.
Facebook’s Information Center will be featured at the top of the News Feed and it will be a central place for people to be reliably informed about the virus. It will contain real-time updates from national health authorities and from organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), helpful articles and videos and posts about preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Facebook users can opt in to be notified and get updates on their News Feeds.
There are at least 9.9 million Kenyans on Facebook and this move by Facebook will adequately inform this huge number directly.
This move follows the company’s decision to give researchers and non-profits more access to their data, which can be used in understanding the coronavirus spread. They have also made some efforts on their other apps, where they have a WHO bot and a Ministry of Health Kenya bot that informs Kenyans about the COVID-19 pandemic promptly.