New DOH chief urged to address 'infodemic'

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 7) — Newly appointed Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Ted Herbosa should address the "infodemic" on health, according to Janette Garin, who once held the agency's top post.

Infodemic refers to the rapid spread of information — both true and false — on social media.

"Considering the post-pandemic, we just don't need to recover but there are a lot of public health challenges, especially so that healthcare and the DOH have been beset with a lot of challenges related to fake news, what is globally known as infodemic, and this is something that should really be addressed," Garin told CNN Philippines' Politics As Usual on Wednesday.

Garin stressed that infodemic is harming the implementation of public health programs, with netizens basing health decisions on unverified information over doctors' recommendations.

She pointed out that universal health care and COVID-19 vaccination are among government programs inflicted by the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

"The provision of services is one of the priorities of Secretary Herbosa and that has been a victim of infodemic. Even vaccination," Garin said.

"Whatever the government does and there are a lot of experts coming out that turn out to be non-experts, then confusion is there and affects the implementation," added the former DOH chief.

Herbosa's appointment comes almost a year into Marcos' presidency. 


New health chief should prioritize pandemic preparedness, access to healthcare – group

Lawmakers confident on experience of new health, defense secretaries

New DOH chief: Proper compensation for health workers a priority