These doctors are using Facebook to debunk fake news on health and vaccination
A bunch of doctors in Kerala have set up a Facebook page to fight fake news and misinformation about medicine that is spread rampantly through social media. With close to 50,000 followers, doctors specialising in various fields of medicine also create awareness about treatments.
Info Clinic, which was started by five doctors a year ago, is now run by more than 25 doctors. Since then, the doctors from various age groups have debunked a lot of myths and rumours on various issues such as vaccination. Talking about what triggered them to start the Facebook page, P.S. Jinesh, lecturer of Forensic Medicine in Government Medical College Kottayam, and an admin of the page, told The Hindu,
Diphtheria cases had just resurfaced and there were campaigns against vaccination and modern medicine. We thought of using the social media to counter it.
Through Facebook live videos and articles, the doctors have taken it upon themselves to provide information on public health to people in simple language. In an interview with Scroll, Dr. Nelson Joseph, one of the founding members said,
What binds us together is our interest in public health. We also enjoy writing for the common people. Our aim was to bring scientific rigour to the society and we have succeeded in our effort. We write facts, supported by statistics. We never sensationalise issues. We publish the name of the author doctor. It gives a sense of ownership.
The team has published more than 135 articles but they are very particular about not compromising on their quality. This is made possible even without the team members meeting often. Since the page's inception in October last year, the team has met only thrice. The meetings are conducted through conference calls or with the help of social media.
Once the topic for an article is finalised, it is assigned to the person or group of people specialising in that particular field through call or mail.
The doctors plan to publish articles in English in the future to reach a larger audience.