Today the South East Europe Health Network was represented at the European Health Forum Gastein by dr. Andrei Baciu, Secretary of State within the Ministry of Health of Romania, on behalf of the Romanian Presidency to the SEEHN.
The plenary debate focused on tackling the COVID-19 Infodemic, a major challenge that all our Governments of the SEE Region experienced with the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The avalanche of information about the virus spreading rapidly on social media platforms created confusion and mistrust and undermined an effective public health response. Disinformation erodes trust in institutions and harms democracies by hampering the ability of citizens to take informed decisions. It may have far-reaching consequences, cause public harm, be a threat to democratic political and policy-making processes, and may even put the protection of citizens’ health, security and their environment at risk.
The Secretary of State addressed questions on the impact of the infodemia in countries in South East Europe and on strategies to address vaccine hesitancy in the context of a new COVID-19 vaccine.
The South Eastern European Region is no exception to the invasion of an infodemia as contagious as the novel coronavirus, the official mentioned during his intervention and shared national experiences from the SEE region to reflect the challenges the SEE Governments faced.