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Expanding our Know the Facts Get the Vax campaign to five more African countries

Media literacy programmes show great promise as an effective way to fight misinformation – before it spreads.

The Covid pandemic caused a flood of both accurate and inaccurate information. 

This made it difficult for people to find the information they needed to make informed decisions about their health.

Media literacy programmes show enormous potential in proactively fighting this kind of challenge. 

From 2021, Africa Check rolled out its Know the Facts Get the Vax media literacy campaign in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, countries where we have offices. 

The campaign aims to inoculate people against false information, and help them critically understand, analyse and evaluate information instead of simply consuming and sharing it. 

The campaign was run in English and several local languages: Kiswahili in Kenya, Hausa and Pidgin in Nigeria, isiZulu in South Africa and Wolof in Senegal.

Partnerships with local organisations essential

With the success of the project in these countries, Africa Check expanded it to five other countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The expansion was made possible by support from the Open Society Initiative for South Africa.

A deep understanding of local contexts is crucial to developing effective media literacy campaigns. For this reason Africa Check has partnered with local organisations, many of them members of the Africa Facts network. They are Congo Check in the DRC, Eswatini Media Monitoring & Research, Misa Zambia, Namibia Fact Check, and ZimFact in Zimbabwe. 

The project aims to reduce potential harm to public health due to misinformation about vaccines. Local language speakers who are digitally under-connected are one target audience. The five partner organisations design country and context-specific content for media literacy campaigns and translate it into widely spoken local languages. 

Each organisation in turn partnered with at least one media outlet and one civil society organisation to reach both digitally connected and unconnected communities.  

Partnering with the Zambian government

Misa Zambia launched the vaccine media literacy campaign on the back of the Zambian health ministry’s efforts. This will help to increase people’s access to accurate information about Covid vaccines, especially in remote and rural communities.

Drawing insights from this collaboration between Misa Zambia and the Zambian government, the project has the potential to change public perceptions in remote areas, allowing better understanding of the importance of vaccines.

While the project is still in its early stages, the progress made by all five partners in translating the content into local languages as well as the partnerships formed with media and civil society organisations shows great potential for sustainable impact on each country.

Further Reading

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