In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, reliable and up-to-date information is crucial to combat the spread of the virus and ensure public safety. The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a proactive approach by launching a Health Alert service on WhatsApp. This article aims to explore the significance of this initiative and how it has effectively disseminated vital information to billions of people across the globe.

The Power of WhatsApp in Global Communication

The Ubiquity of WhatsApp

WhatsApp has emerged as a dominant player in the world of instant messaging, boasting over two billion users worldwide. Its user-friendly interface and widespread availability on smartphones have made it an indispensable tool for communication. The platform’s popularity spans across various demographics, making it an ideal medium to reach a diverse audience.

The Role of WhatsApp in Information Sharing

WhatsApp has already proven its value as a platform for disseminating information during crises. In previous emergencies such as natural disasters and disease outbreaks, WhatsApp has played a vital role in connecting people and providing real-time updates. This capability has made it an attractive choice for organizations like WHO to leverage its potential for sharing accurate and timely information.

WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp

The Genesis of WHO Health Alert

Recognizing the need to combat misinformation and ensure widespread access to accurate information, WHO launched the Health Alert service on WhatsApp in March 2020. The primary goal was to provide the public with reliable, real-time updates on COVID-19 directly from trusted sources. This service aimed to address the growing concerns about misinformation and to empower individuals to make informed decisions to protect their health and that of their communities.

How the Service Works

Users can access the WHO Health Alert service by simply sending a message to a dedicated WhatsApp number. Once subscribed, they receive automated messages on a range of topics, including the latest updates on the pandemic, protective measures, myth-busting, and guidance for healthcare professionals. The service is available in multiple languages, ensuring that information is accessible to a wide range of users globally.

Benefits and Impact

The launch of the WHO Health Alert service on WhatsApp has had a profound impact on public health communication. Here are some key benefits and examples of its impact:

1. Timely Information Dissemination: By leveraging the popularity of WhatsApp, WHO has been able to reach billions of people with crucial updates in real-time. This has helped in preventing the spread of misinformation and rumors, enabling individuals to make informed decisions based on accurate information.

2. Myth-Busting and Debunking Misinformation: The WHO Health Alert service actively addresses common myths and misconceptions surrounding COVID-19. By providing evidence-based information, it has played a pivotal role in debunking false claims and ensuring that the public has access to reliable knowledge.

3. Accessible and User-Friendly: The service is designed to be simple and user-friendly, making it accessible to individuals from all walks of life. The use of multiple languages further ensures that the information reaches diverse populations, overcoming language barriers and fostering inclusivity.

4. Engagement and Interaction: The two-way communication facilitated by WhatsApp allows users to engage with the service and seek clarifications. This interaction plays a crucial role in building trust and fostering a sense of community, empowering individuals to actively participate in the fight against COVID-19.


The WHO Health Alert service on WhatsApp has revolutionized the way in which vital health information is disseminated during the COVID-19 pandemic. By harnessing the power of a widely-used platform, WHO has successfully reached billions of people with accurate and timely updates. This initiative not only combats the spread of misinformation but also empowers individuals to take proactive measures to protect themselves and their communities. As we navigate these uncertain times, the WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp stands as a shining example of how technology can be harnessed to safeguard public health on a global scale.

*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice. For the latest information and guidelines on COVID-19, please refer to official sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and local health authorities.*

Date Title Summary
March 20, 2020 WHO Health Alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a new messaging service through WhatsApp to provide reliable information about COVID-19 to billions of people. The service aims to reach people all over the world with the latest updates, guidelines, mythbusters, and other essential information related to the pandemic.


What is WHO Health Alert?
WHO Health Alert is a service provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) that brings accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 to billions of people worldwide through the messaging app WhatsApp.

How does WHO Health Alert work?
Users can simply save the number +41 79 893 1892 in their phone contacts and then message “hi” to the number via WhatsApp. They will receive an automated response with a menu of options to choose from, providing them with the latest facts and information about COVID-19.

What kind of information does WHO Health Alert provide?
WHO Health Alert provides information on various topics related to COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, travel advice, myth-busters, and the latest updates from the WHO. It aims to combat misinformation and ensure people have access to accurate information.

Is WHO Health Alert available in multiple languages?
Yes, WHO Health Alert is available in multiple languages. Users can select the language they prefer and receive information in that specific language. Currently, it is available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Russian, with plans to expand to more languages in the future.

Is WHO Health Alert a reliable source of information?
Yes, WHO Health Alert is a reliable source of information as it is provided by the World Health Organization, which is a leading international public health agency. The information shared through this service is based on scientific evidence and the latest updates from global health experts.

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