Recently we held a celebration World health day April 7th. This is an opportunity to focus attention on some notable efforts by governments in our region to communicate with their citizens using platforms like Facebook, Messenger , Instagram and WhatsApp. Like many other things in a pandemic, public health campaigns must turn online to reach people on a large scale with critical updates.
Improving digital wellness is not the same as new. But for many governments in Asia Pacific, this is the first time they have used the Facebook app stream as a marketing channel to promote public health at large scale. With increased pressure on health care systems, they must react quickly to curb ground-based infection rates while simultaneously conveying reliable information to citizens as quickly as possible.
We have seen some governments in the region rapidly experimenting and learning different approaches to digital wellness. From launching bots for Messenger to leveraging free advertising credits to directing people to health information from trusted sources – they’ve led the way in terms of exploiting innovative technology to counteract pandemic.
Respond to the global crisis
In the early days of the pandemic, messaging emerged as a major public interaction channel. The Singapore government was one of the first to develop the official Gov.sg WhatsApp channel, which currently has more than 1.2 million users opting to participate. It continues to provide up-to-date information on the spread of COVID-19 in the country, along with relevant details on infection control measures.
Our teams have also worked with the Philippine Department of Health to launch a Messenger bot to share COVID-19 updates. The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, which was hailed for its pandemic response, has also launched the COVID-19 bot on Messenger – both acting as a local channel and an international channel sharing updates. latest updates with Taiwanese community around the world.
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All of this happens in collaboration with healthcare professionals, third-party developers, creative agencies, as well as government and community advocacy groups. In fact, even our in-house creative groups participate in meetings with health departments to help apply creative best practices to health updates. Some of these early jobs went beyond Asia Pacific and has now become global framework for pandemic response.
Move forward with the power of innovation
This year, providing effective and accurate vaccine communications is of primary concern for public health agencies. As we move into the vaccine outreach and trust phase of pandemic response, governments continue to leverage digital platforms to spread COVID-19 vaccinations.
As access and vaccine eligibility varies across regions, we’re also seeing governments develop more customized messaging experiences. Earlier this year, the Indonesian Ministry of Health discussed building a WhatsApp chatbot to support their vaccine deployment for health workers. World’s first WhatsApp vaccine chatbot built in nine days. Medical workers were able to use this two-way messaging chatbot to select locations, dates, and times and attract people to sign up for vaccinations. Within the first five days, 500,000 medical personnel accessed the bot.
Similarly, the Indian government built the world’s largest WhatsApp chatbot last year with the goal of sharing authentic news, expert information and official updates. They are well established MyGov Corona Hub. They are currently updating their chatbot to support their large vaccine implementation program by incorporating vaccine-specific FAQs, and will roll out more features soon.
As we partner on these campaigns, we also see the value of personalized advertising in public health promotion strategies. Learn Has shown that the effectiveness of ads can be significantly improved by targeting messages based on sociological characteristics.
For example, when schools and colleges reopen in Pakistan, the Ministry of Health wants to notify parents, teachers, and students about the precautions needed to create a safe environment for learning. .
The Education Department has created a short animated video outlining steps to stay safe in school. They used a combination of placements, including Facebook and Instagram Feeds and Stories, among others, to maximize your exposure.
The simple animations, captivating tinkles and the easy-to-understand language used in the video have helped to draw large audiences across the country. Key messages about hand washing and driving without touching eyes and mouth were delivered within the first few seconds. Captions make it easy to capture a message even when the sound is off.
The campaign has reached more than 13 million people and helped raise awareness about the safety and wellness measures in COVID-19.
The role of startups in sealing technical gaps
There are many such examples from the region. I am really impressed by how Asian governments have adjusted their technological prowess and innovation relatively rapidly to reach their citizens on a large scale. In the process, we all learned the power of cooperation. I was inspired by the vast ecosystem that has formed to address technical gaps and medical service needs, especially for underserved communities. Small-tech startups and thriving businesses have been rapidly responding to public, repetitive demand as they go, in collaboration with public health officials.
I want to share my story Amio, a free Messenger chatbot created by three doctors Kiwi to address questions and break the COVID-19 myth for communities in New Zealand and Australia. During the first month, more than 250,000 messages were exchanged. Another example is a startup with a name Reach 52, is focused on providing affordable health care to underserved communities. They quickly started building the COVID-19 Information and Symptoms Check Tool on Messenger platform to help limit false information. In the first week alone, their solution reached more than 6,500 people from rural communities across the Philippines and Cambodia.
It’s important to ponder these stories as they help us learn more about the types of public health messages that work well where we can improve and how we can work together. public health crises in the future.
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