Ministry of Health launches instant messaging service by WhatsApp (Chatbot) for information on COVID-19

Mon. 27 of April of 2020, 09:18h

The Ministry of Health launched, on April 25, 2020, at the Media Center of the Integrated Crisis Management Center, a new chatbot instant messaging service through WhatsApp with information about COVID-19. This service allows the community to access relevant information about COVID-19 through WhatsApp.

At the launch of the service, The Director General of Health Services Provision, Odete Viegas, explained that the method for using the service is to "send a message with "hello" to the number +670 7556 0000, to have access to the main information about the data and news of COVID-19". The service is available in Tetum and English.

The Director also added that this service allows the population to ask questions related to COVID-19.

Odete Viegas also explained that this messaging service, the chatbot, aims to disseminate official and credible information about COVID-19 to the community and also to reduce the false information and rumors that arise.

"With this initiative, we intend to disseminate clear and true information about this disease, so that the population feels safe and that we reduce fear and panic.”

The messaging service was developed by Catalpa International and was supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Praekelt Foundation.

For people who do not use mobile phones with internet, the Ministry of Health itself has been sharing information by SMS and, together with the partners of the Ministry, has sought to disseminate information to rural areas.

Health service teams have also disseminated information and carried out prevention and awareness-raising actions about COVID-19, directly in the communities, through the various channels that the Ministry itself has already established.