As we experience the coronavirus disease (covid-19) in Sub-Saharan African, every individual and profession has a duty to bring their expertise on board towards curtailing the globetrotting disease. With respect to the recently-confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria, the following are some of the things to note by libraries and librarians in the country:
1. CABI turns all coronavirus articles to open access for three months
CABI has made 17,000 relevant records on coronavirus from Global Health database and CAB Abstracts free to access for three months. The corona virus content including research on epidemiology, prevention, and control of SARS and MERS, and research on animal corona viruses, has been made open access as a way of contributing to the response to the outbreak which as of 28th February has more than 85,000 confirmed cases and over 2500 deaths globally. To gain access, visit the Global Health website (www.cabdirect.org/
globalhealth) , go to ‘login’ and follow the registration instructions and copy and paste voucher code CV23359XB80 into ‘redeem a voucher’ section. Kindly bring this to the awareness of health practitioners/researchers in your institution.
2. Susceptible increase in Fake News
The menace of fake news portends great danger in curbing panic and misinformation. Libraries should at this time heighten information literacy tutorials to guide people. In this kind of situation, many websites publish unfounded information to gain traffic to their sites. Librarians should debunk fake news as soon as possible and encourage the sharing of information that are only from verifiable/reliable sources. An example is the news by the Nation Newspaper on it’s website that CDC stated that shaving beard protects against coronavirus, which was a fake news. I have contacted the Newspaper via social media and sent them the correct link to the information as published on CDC’s website in 2017, which was about the use of respirators in workplaces and had nothing to do with coronavirus. The IFLA’s guide and infographic on how to spot fake news (https://www.ifla.org/
publications/node/11174) should be widely shared and explained if possible.
3. AfLIA awakens librarians
The African Library & Information Association & Institutions (AfLIA) has published a post on what libraries and librarians could do as professional responsibilities in response to COVID-19 outbreak in Africa. A list of coronavirus resources and suggestions were included in the publication, which can be found at https://web.aflia.net/corona-
4. WHO dedicated COVID-19 webpage
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has established a dedicated webpage for COVID-19 outbreak. The webpage offers information on protecting yourself, getting your questions answered, travel advice, situation reports, media resources, technical guidance and global research. This can be use for our outreach services, brought to the attention of our users, and used to answer users’ questions. The page can be found at https://www.who.int/
emergencies/diseases/novel- coronavirus-2019. Several other governmental organisations and recognised NGOs also have reliable information that we can use online.
5. NCDC published another public health advisory notice on COVID-19
The Nigerian Center for Disease Control, which is the coordinating agency for communicable diseases under the Federal Ministry of health issued its 4th public health advisory notice on the disease yesterday (Feb. 29). NCDC also has a toll free number for emergency calls and other information. You can find these information at https://ncdc.gov.ng/news/234/
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Biliamin O. Popoola
University of Medical Sciences, Ondo
Head, Blog Team, NLA Digital Communication Crew
PRO, Medical Library Association of Nigeria (MLA-NG)/AHILA-NG