WHO continues to make strides in providing accessible health information to everyone, everywhere, literally in the palms of their hands. WHO’s channel on WhatsApp, which launched in June, has rapidly grown over the past five months and now celebrates over 5.6 million followers.
Channels on WhatsApp allows people to receive important updates from organizations privately and for the WHO in particular, this platform connects people worldwide with trusted health advice. While digital connectivity blankets over 85% of the globe, consistent and direct access to trusted health advice remains a challenge. WHO's WhatsApp channel simplifies this, ensuring communities stay informed and prepared, both as regular updates and in times of crises.
The regular schedule includes two health messages each week, along with a summary of the most important health news. By spotlighting lifestyle choices in particular—like tobacco cessation, dietary habits, physical activity levels, alcohol consumption, and mental well-being—the channel offers individuals easy-to-understand health tips encouraging people to make informed decisions about their health and well-being.
The channel not only offers regular health updates but also connects followers with vital emergency alerts, opportunities to support WHO emergency appeals, and insights into essential health tools. It also highlights various health day, week, and month milestones recognized by WHO. Unlike traditional chatbots on WhatsApp, which support one-to-one conversations and require user opt-ins for push notifications, WhatsApp channels support private broadcasts and allow followers to receive updates and announcements automatically.
"Our goal with the WhatsApp channel is simple: ensuring reliable health advice reaches everyone, everywhere, especially on low-bandwidth connection" said Andy Pattison, Team Lead, WHO Digital Channels, who plays a key role in the channel's management.
This effort is part of WHO's broader mission to work with tech solutions, ensuring that everyone can easily find and understand key health information.
For WHO teams at HQ, regional, and country levels aiming to amplify health campaigns and extend health information directly to people through diverse channels, our dedicated team is here to support and guide you.
And for those who want to join this growing community, the WHO WhatsApp channel is easy to access, with no extra costs on most networks. It's health info made simple, for everyone.
Follow the WHO Channel on WhatsApp here: WhatsApp Channel Invite.
WHO has the news release.