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The pandemic has been accompanied by an infodemic, we are at risk of both the infodemic and the pandemic. Research findings presented during the recent 2021 Kenya DAAD Scholars Virtual Conference has established that inaccurate information revolving on Covid 19 could be more a pandemic than the adversities of the virus itself. The misleading information has been proved to create massive fear in the society leading to more fatalities and severe conditions.

The virtual informative workshop was graced by various Guest Speakers including the Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, MMUST’s Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo and the Host Governor, Hon. Wycliffe Oparanya.

“The quick dissemination of information and misinformation online, in a time when people are more socially distanced than ever before and relying on their phones to connect to the world, is adding a new concerning dimension to the pandemic,” divulged MMUST’s Behavioral Scientist, Dr. Rose Opiyo.

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She further alluded that with high uncertainty associated with the novelty of COVID 19, many people rely on online health information to learn more about how to protect themselves and their families from the imminent health threat. Increased technological exposure to fake information further increases the current outbreak’s complexity. The information shared online should be factual to ensure the public are not misled.

The research findings recommended that it is important to embrace reference from reliable sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), State Health Departments and peer reviewed science publications.

The conference incorporated proficiency attracting Keynote speakers from varied fields. The Keynote addresses were drawn from the Principal Secretary, State Department for Crop Development and Agricultural Research, Prof. Hamadi Boga, Prof. Mahesh Nirmalani from the University of Manchester, Development and Project Management Expert, Mr. Mathews Tsuma, Dean School of Humanities and Social Sciences Pwani University, Prof. Halimu Suleiman Shauri and Prof. Khaemba Ongeti from Moi University.  

by  Linet Owuor