By Emma Okonji
Facebook has said it is expanding its Coronavirus Information Centre to 17 more countries in Africa, including Nigeria.
The Information Centres forms 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.
The Facebook COVID-19 Information Centre is featured at the top of News Feed, that provides a central place for people to keep informed about the Coronavirus. It includes real-time updates from national health authorities and global organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Facebook said users could opt in to follow the centre to get notifications and see updates in their News Feed from official government health authorities.
The centre has already been launched in South Africa, and would now be expanded to new African markets such as Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia. Others are Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Togo.
Facebook’s Head of Public Policy In Africa, Kojo Boakye, said: “We have built the information centres, in collaboration with national health partners, to ensure that people can get access to information from trusted health sources. The launch of the COVID-19 Information Centre on Facebook in more than 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, aligns with our commitment to making accurate, timely information about the pandemic accessible to all communities.”