DHA’s WhatsApp helpline receives more than 54,000 requests

DUBAI, The Dubai Health Authority, DHA, and Facebook have announced that the DHA COVID-19 hotline service on WhatsApp has received 54,881 unique requests from the public between April and September.

The automated chatbot application is a free 24/7 service which was developed to raise awareness among the public and provide them with accurate information about COVID-19 and some other DHA services. The service was also introduced in line with the Authority’s efforts to provide community members with an option to have a 24/7 communication channel available in multiple languages.

Since the launch of the DHA COVID-19 hotline service in April, users have accurate, official health-related information and advice on the coronavirus, with the most asked questions on the WhatsApp service being “Am I eligible for a coronavirus test and what is the procedure to get the test?”, followed by “Can I get a coronavirus medical certificate?” and the third one being “I suspect that there is a sick person with Coronavirus, what do I do?”

Fatma Al Khaja, Director of the Customer Happiness Department at DHA, said that the DHA hotline service has been very helpful in assisting people by debunking rumours about the virus and equipping the public with the necessary knowledge to take preventive measures against COVID-19.

“We wanted a system that would respond to patients’ queries timeously and to give people a credible channel to receive accurate information. The system provides users with an opportunity to learn more about the virus, get UAE statistics and even find out if they are eligible for a coronavirus test,” Al Khaja said.

As part of an ongoing partnership, Facebook has also provided DHA with ad credits to drive people to government websites, to receive more information and statistics about the pandemic in Dubai. Between April and September 2020, the DHA ads on social platforms Instagram and Facebook have since reached more than six million unique users and have been viewed more than 36 million times.

“Facebook is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis,” said Ramez Shehadi, Managing Director for Facebook MENA. “By partnering with the DHA on the WhatsApp service, we are empowering people to access accurate information at the touch of a button, supporting those who require the services and making it easier for people to get tested.”

Facebook also has the Coronavirus Information Centre on top of the News Feed. This is to provide a central place for people to get the latest news on the pandemic. The Centre is directed to over two billion people worldwide, with information from health expert resources, such as health authorities and educational pop-ups to learn more about the virus. Since the release of the feature, over 350 million people have clicked through to learn more via social media platforms Instagram and Facebook.

The DHA WhatsApp hotline utilises Artificial Intelligence, AI, to strengthen communication with the public and give them fast and easy access to accurate and trusted information from official sources. To access the 24/7 service, users can add 800 342 to their phone contacts and send “Hi” on WhatsApp.


Source: Emirates News Agency

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