The Health Misinformation Project is a rather unique project that aims to shape public knowledge, attitudes, and concerns in the health sector and collate all the health-related misinformation in India at one place. The Health Misinformation Report has been authored in the hope to become a seed or a starting point for understanding and combating health-related misinformation in the Indian context across the 10 prioritised sectors. These sectors include immunisation, nutrition, maternal health, menstrual health, sexual reproductive health, cancer, public health concerns, non-communicable diseases, mental health, and COVID-19. The rationale behind prioritising these sectors is that they affect the larger sections of the society. This report is an outcome of the yearlong work of the Health Fellow at Factly. The aim of the report is to provide a fundamental understanding of each of the chapters and through secondary research, identify & map the kind of existing misinformation. In this regard, we have reached out to stakeholders who are either experts or organisations in each of these sectors for their insights- in total we have conducted 21 in-depth expert interviews and reached out to 64 stakeholders (experts/organisations) and spent hundreds of hours throughout last year. The secondary research coupled with the interviews of the relevant sectoral experts and organisations have been invaluable to triangulate and validate the misinformation research for the report.
Given that misinformation is a complex, layered entity that affects the psychology of people sharing and consuming information, this report will be a reference point for future research work to continue to investigate evidence-based data to gain insights into especially pressing topics such as medical misinformation in India. We hope that this report serves the purpose of the foundational mapping of the health misinformation landscape in India. The Health Misinformation Report covers basic misinformation (myths and misconceptions) in the 10 prioritised sectors through 10 distinct chapters. Each chapter has five parts including an introduction/literature review, common myths and misconceptions, a case study, excerpts of the interviews done with the sectoral experts, and a conclusion. You can access and navigate through any of the 10 chapters by clicking here