The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that it has partnered with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the UNICEF to harness the power of information technology in combating the global coronavirus pandemic.
The collaboration will start in the Asia Pacific region and will be rolled out globally, the WHO said on its website.
WHO said it would work with telecommunication companies to text people directly on their mobile phones with vital health messaging to protect them from Covid-19.
While health authorities have been continuously informing the public on the coronavirus pandemic through social media, billions of people around the world do not have access to the internet.
The initiative aims to reach this segment of the population.
“The goal is to reach everyone with vital health messages, whatever their connectivity level. An estimated 3.6 billion people remain offline, with most people who are unconnected living in low-income countries, where an average of just two out of every ten people are online,” the WHO said.
ITU and WHO are calling on all telecommunication companies worldwide to join this initiative to help unleash the power of communication technology to save lives from COVID-19.
This initiative builds on current efforts to disseminate health messages through the joint WHO-ITU BeHealthy BeMobile initiative.
“Now more than ever, technology must ensure that everyone can access the information they need,” according to the announcement.
Coronavirus disease is the first pandemic in human history where technology and social media are being used on a massive scale to keep people safe, productive, and connected while being physically apart.
Latest data from the WHO showed that there are now 2.4 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections, with 163,097 deaths around the world.
ITU, the WHO’s partner in this initiative, was established over 150 years ago in 1865. It is responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, and improving communication infrastructure in the developing world.