General Report of the International Forum of Yaoundé on Disinformation, implications for Public Health in Africa and Cameroon

25 July, 2022

Dear HIFA colleagues,

Warm greetings.

From the 13th to the 14th June 2022 Yaoundé hosted an International Forum on disinformation (YIFD). (

Francophone Africa was largely respresented with members coming from Chad, Cameroon, central African republic, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory coast and Sénégal. This forum was an initiative of ADISI-Cameroon.

Disinformation is one of the major information disorders (disinformation, malinformation, and misinformation) causing the infodemic. For public health, information disorders are threats to access to essential health and mental health care services, health promotion, adoption of healthy behaviour and universal health coverage.

The 1st International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CHPIA) held online from the 14th to the 16th December 2021 was an opportunity to discuss about the ongoing covid19 pandemic and prepare for pandemics.Fighting the spread and use of false healthcare information is a public health concern in Africa which unfortunately deserves little attention.

The YIFD objectives on building a national and international synergy to fight against fake news in Cameroon ; raise awareness of media led to important recommendations but which caught my attention.

The recommendations (full report in french here: ) at the level of regulating bodies it was recommended :

- the elaboration of a law to access information;

- create a bridge between health professionals and fack-checkers;

Is there reason to beleive that information disorders within the african cyberespace environment on health is high? If it is true this can explain in part the great challenges many African countries face as what concerns health promotion.

This implies that lots of efforts still remains necessary in health and mental health literacy initiatives ; health and mental health promotion to improve access to and availability of realiable and accurate health and mental information in Africa. African health ministries should see in the infodemic an opportunity to improve on the access to realiable health and mental health information for all.

Best wishes,

Didier Demassosso

HIFA CRC Afro Region

MHIN Africa Knowledge Exchange Assistant

HIFA profile: Didier Demassosso is a mental health practitioner, Consultant (WHO , MoPH Cameroon...), Mental health advocate , Youth advocate with 10 years experience in mental health development in Cameroon. He is also a health communicator and educationist. HIFA Country Representative For Cameroon/ HIFA Country Representative of the year 2014 / Regional Coordinator for Africa. He also currently volunteers for the Mental Health Innovation Network Africa as Knowledge Exchange Assistant.

Email: didier.demassosso AT