Comms consultancy offers pro-bono COVID-19 support to African governments

Business and comms consultancy APO Group is offering pro-bono support to African governments in the dissemination of coronavirus-related information to the press and public.

The firm will aggregate and distribute all content issued by African governments for free through its press release distribution service and a specially-designed coronavirus tag on Africa-Newsroom.com.

The information will be distributed in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

APO Group claims it is the largest press release distribution service in Africa, reaching more than 400,000 journalists across the continent.

It said dozens of African health ministries would be able to access the program immediately.

APO Group will also help distribute press releases from the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO Regional Office for Africa and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

“Keeping the public informed accurately about COVID-19 is crucial,” said Dr Zabulon Yoti, acting regional emergencies director for WHO in Africa. “These efforts by media organizations will help disseminate potentially life-saving information.”

The consultancy said the wide distribution of misinformation and rumours about the virus, fuelled by social media, posed an enormous health risk in Africa.

“It is critical that African governments have a tool for their voices to be heard,” said APO group CEO Lionel Reina.

"We believe in the power of community, which is why we’re working collaboratively with African governments, media organisations, and journalists to help communicate reliable information about the coronavirus.”

Any African government, institution or official organisation that wishes to distribute news releases about coronavirus for free can email APO Group.

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