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Covid-19 remains a significant challenge for Papua New Guinea. While case numbers appear to have stabilised after a big surge earlier this year, the virus continues to spread and put further strain on already-stretched healthcare resources.

Much-needed vaccines have arrived and a national rollout strategy has begun. But vaccine hesitancy is a huge concern – with frontline health workers among those reluctant to accept the vaccine. A major factor appears to be online misinformation – with conspiracy theories and fake news proliferating, and adding to the burden for those trying to reduce the pandemic’s impact.

Join us for this online panel event to discuss the challenges of Covid-19 and social media misinformation in Papua New Guinea. Researchers from the ABC Media Development Initiative will outline their latest data tracking the spread of online misinformation, and you’ll hear from our panellists to discuss the impact it has on health outcomes, and the broader community. 


Joys Eggins is the Research Coordinator with the ABC Media Development Initiative based in Port Moresby. Joys has been involved in a number of research projects in PNG and the Pacific, her personal project on youth narratives on HIV/AIDS through use of film employed a communication for social change approach. She is a founding member of the Centre for Social and Creative Media, working as a Lecturer Research and Production at the Centre. Joys holds an MA from the University of Goroka.

Dr Prashanth Pillay manages monitoring and evaluation and research at ABC International Development. He has published in the fields of political science and media and communication. His area of research expertise lies in digital media studies, international development and developing digital methodologies for social media analysis. He has a PhD in youth political communication from Monash University, where he also worked as a researcher and lecturer. He has previously run an award-winning technology start-up on web publishing and design in Singapore.

Belinda Kora is the Secretary of the Media Council of PNG. She is one of the country’s best-known journalists, having worked in the industry for nearly 20 years. Her voice is familiar to radio listeners as a newsreader on PNG-FM where she rose to become News Director. She later worked in similar roles at FM100 and at PNG-TV. Belinda completed her undergraduate studies at Divine Word University in Madang.

Dr Garry Nou is a senior doctor and the Provincial Liaison and EMT lead with the Papua New Guinea National Control Centre for Covid-19. He was previously the Incident Manager for Port Moresby with the NCC. Dr Nou is an emergency physician at the Gerehu Hospital in Port Moresby and is also president of the Papua New Guinea Society for Emergency Medicine.



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