The Faculty of Integrated Communication Sciences (FICS), in collaboration with FactSpace West Africa, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and UNICEF organized a training seminar on the 9th of February 2024 to equip students at the University of Media, Arts and Communication with the skills to fact-check health disinformation and misinformation.

As part of the training, students were introduced to the Cranky Uncle Vaccine – a digital health game designed to help people develop resilience against disinformation and misinformation. Cranky Uncle Vaccine game is freely available online; it teaches users how to spot and counter health disinformation and misinformation online. Students also learnt to use fact-checking tools such as Invid video verification and reverse image search.

The training was led by two resource persons from FactSpace West Africa: Lead Project Manager Salifu Abdul Rahman and Executive Director Rabiu Alhassan. Salifu Abdul Rahman highlighted the role of informed citizens in preserving public discourse and democracy, stressing the necessity for students to navigate the vast information available in the digital age with scepticism and critical inquiry. “As students of communication, there is a need for you to be critical about information consumption, especially in this digital”, he said. Rabiu Alhassan, on his part emphasized the importance of vigilance against misinformation, especially in an era where false content can proliferate rapidly on social media.

The seminar was held at LH2.4 on the South Legon Campus of the Institute of Journalism. It was attended by faculty members and a cross-section of first-year students from various departments of the Institute. Feedback from participants was positive, with many expressing gratitude for the opportunity to enhance their media literacy skills. Some student participants indicated a keen interest in similar events in the future, underscoring the need for continued efforts to empower students with tools for navigating the complexities of the modern information landscape.