Global Public Health Campaigns on Twitter

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Global Public Health Campaigns on Twitter: Brazil

Several civil society groups and NGOs in Brazil are leveraging information as the key to containing the recent COVID-19 pandemic. They are relying on Twitter hashtags like #Coronanasperiferias, and #COVID19NasFavelas to communicate messages of solidarity to Brazilians as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The messages passed by these Twitter campaigns contain insights relevant to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and often target individuals with other medical ailments like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. One public health Twitter campaign that has run within the past eight months in Brazil is #SafeHands.


  • #CoronaNasPeriferias campaign is a Twitter-based campaign promoted by Agencia Mural. Agencia Mural has its headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil, and 7,795 followers on Twitter.
  • The campaign's messaging focuses on communicating a summary ("resumão") of developments every week to help Brazilians as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. A picture of people wearing face masks used below the #CoronaNasPeriferias continua thread is available via this link.
  • Agency Mural is a news, information, and intelligence agency focused on São Paulo and its metropolitan region. The agency uses the #CoronaNasPeriferias campaign to educate Brazilians on methods of preventing coronavirus infection and developments on the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign commenced after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Agencia Mural has several posts below its #CoronaNasPeriferias tag or campaign on Twitter. These posts educate with tips useful to diabetic and hypertensive patients.
  • Agencia Mural acquired 33 retweets and 84 likes for its #CoronaNasPeriferias campaign of 3rd April 2020. An expansion
  • A link specified with"show this thread"and located below Agencia Mural's #CoronaNasPeriferias hashtag via its campaign of April 2020 reveals that the agency promotes social distancing (isolation) and work from home to combat COVID-19. The campaign also discloses a link to an article that helps diabetic and hypertensive people. Diabetic patients Thomas Asani take protective and preventive steps to keep their "food trade open" amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
  • #Coronanasperiferias is the brainwork of several media activist groups and coalitions aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through social media platforms. These groups members believe that "information is key to containing" the coronavirus pandemic. They agree that information useful in the fight against COVID-19 must get communicated to the poor in ways that align with their experience.


  • Following the outbreak of COVID-19, several community-based groups of activists have relied on social media to provide mainstream narratives about the pandemic. One of the social media hashtags they used by community-based groups in Brazil is #COVID19NasFavelas. Group using the hashtag to share public health information comprises of residents drawn from a "network of 420 volunteers."
  • Some Twitter users believe that groups of Brazilians in shantytowns (favelas) are relying on the #COVID19NasFavelas Twitter campaign to complement government efforts and help themselves in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents of Brazil share vital public health information using the #COVID19NasFavelas hashtag.
  • A recent picture showing a resident of Brazil wearing a face mask and revealing has a messaging that from tomorrow, using masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, will become mandatory across the Rio de Janeiro municipality is accessible via this link.
  • Based on its messaging, the #COVID19NasFavelas campaign focuses on providing information that helps Brazilians living in congested areas with tips on proper sanitation. Apart from the widespread belief that adequate sanitation is vital in the fight against COVID-19, experts agree that it is also essential in the battle against other disease outbreaks known to affect public health negatively (such as cholera).
  • #COVID19NasFavelas campaigns for proper sanitation. It provides links to articles in the Guardian newspaper that educate Brazilians on the need for people living in overcrowded conditions without adequate sanitation to wear face masks. It also promotes individuals or activists that are donating face masks to poor people in crowded areas.
  • Twitter-based campaigns for masks promoted via #COVID19NasFavelas are helpful and beneficial. They help people living situations where it is not possible to observe "social distancing " (this includes people living in "overcrowded conditions" or favelas). They also help to protect people with "heart disease, diabetes," chronic lung disease, cancer, or immunity problems (these people have higher risk factors relative to COVID-19). The benefits of this campaign are enormous as people suffering from underlying diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses are associated with a potential higher risk when "they contract coronavirus."


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the launch of the #SafeHands Challenge in March 2020. The campaign strives to educate the public on the power of handwashing in the fight against coronavirus. A picture captured from a video promoting the #SafeHands campaign on Twitter by WHO's Director-General (Tedros Adhanom) has over 1.6 million views, 2,700 likes, 15,000 retweets and is accessible via this link.
  • The #SafeHands challenge promoted by the World Health Organization is ongoing in Brazil. One of the Brazilians participating in the campaign is a retired Brazilian midfielder, Kaka. World Health Organization is a non-governmental organization (NGO).
  • Another Brazilian celebrity participating in the #SafeHands campaign (challenge) is Alisson Becker (a Brazilian footballer). Dr. Natalia Becker (@DrNataliaBecker) is one of the professionals known to have joined the #SafeHands campaign. Dr. Natalia Becker is WHO's health promotion goodwill ambassador for Brazil.
  • The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is also promoting the #SafeHands Challenge on Twitter. The UNHCR reveals that its team members and partners across Brazil are striving to ensure that Venezuelan refugees, as well as migrants, stay safe via the #SafeHands campaign.
  • According to its messaging, the United Nation's hand hygiene campaign is not just to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), but also focuses on "other infectious diseases." It is for those that can access soap and water. The easy steps of the #SafeHands campaign are recommended for various communities and individuals and strive to advance public health.
  • An organization promoting the #SafeHands Challenge is Colgate Palmolive. The company is working to save lives by advocating for "40 seconds of handwashing." The South American headquarters of Colgate Palmolive is in São Paulo, Brazil. Colgate Palmolive produces hand sanitizers known to kill bacteria (sanitizers are personal care or healthcare products used to combat the spread of COVID-19)
  • A recent twitter post made by Colgate Palmolive promotes handwashing using the #SafeHands hashtag and reveals that together, we can overcome as well as achieve a safe future.

Research Strategy

The research examines examples of public health campaigns that have run on Twitter within the past eight months in Brazil. This strategy reviewed the twitter handles of the several companies operating within the public health sector in Brazil, such as Dorflex and several other companies that offer solutions relevant to public health. The twitter handles of these companies did not contain any public health campaigns that have run within the past eight months. The study also reviewed news and media resources, think tank publications, and Brazilian Twitter hashtags for public health Twitter campaigns over the past eight months in Brazil. Insights revealed by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace disclosed that some non-governmental organizations in Brazil recently used #Coronanasperiferias (or #Coronaintheperipheries) and #COVID19NasFavelas (or #COVID19intheslums) to campaigns for public health. This strategy uncovered two Twitter campaigns. Due to the limited number of Twitter hashtags associated with public health campaigns in Brazil, the study also includes a public health campaign implemented in Brazil (#SafeHands). However, #SafeHands is also running in other countries. The study considers health campaigns run by agencies, non-profit organizations (NGO's), pharmaceutical companies focused on public health issues as worthy of inclusion. These campaigns focus on the COVID-19 pandemic or any other public health areas like cardiovascular diseases, bone diseases, oncology, obesity or diabetes, and other diseases. Only campaigns implemented within the past eight months are in the research. The world was alerted on COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019, and campaigns focused on COVID are likely less than six months old.
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Global Public Health Campaigns on Twitter: Argentina

In Argentina, some examples of public health campaigns that have run on Twitter in the past 8 months include those related to the use of home-made surgical masks, free abortion, and flu immunization.

Home-Made Surgical Masks Campaign

  • In response to COVID-19, the National Department of Health, which encouraged individuals to use home-made surgical masks instead of buying them, started a campaign on Twitter related to how citizens should use and wash their masks.
  • The campaign began on April 19, 2020.
  • It consisted of a video that briefly explained the process of washing the home-made surgical masks.
  • The video urged people to remember that the most important thing is to follow the main preventive measures, one of which can be accomplished by the use of homemade masks.
  • The video had 33.6k views just in the first two days.
  • Apart from the said video, the campaign included a link to another website for more information related to the topic.
  • A screenshot of this campaign is available here.

Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion Campaign

  • This campaign was carried out by a feminist non-profit organization whose purpose is for Argentina to consider legal, safe, and free abortion as a matter of public health.
  • The campaign began on March 14, 2020.
  • It consisted of a letter addressed to the country's Executive Branch.
  • The last paragraph of the letter contained inclusive language such as "todas, todos, todes". These expressions are still against the Spanish Royal Academy's grammatical rules because they are considered to be deteriorating the language.
  • Even though feminists acknowledged the impact COVID-19 had on the Legislative Power's schedule, they still reiterated their need for the law to be passed.
  • Feminists' slogan is "sexual education to decide, contraceptives not to abort, legal abortion not to die."
  • A screenshot of this campaign is available here.

Flu Immunization Campaign

  • It only addressed people over 65 and urged them to get vaccinated against the flu.
  • Citizens over 65 had to go to pharmacies to get vaccinated, and they did not need a prescription.
  • PAMI advised those to be vaccinated to wait for their turns to maintain physical distance and be able to take care of everyone.
  • A screenshot of this campaign is available here.
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Global Public Health Campaigns on Twitter: Turkey

Three public health Twitter campaigns over the past eight months in Turkey are smoking and COVID-19, pharmacies and drug supply, and equal healthcare campaign. All campaigns focus on public health issues such as the effects of smoking, drug supply, healthcare, and COVID-19.

Smoking and COVID-19 Campaign

  • Mavi Kalem, a non-government organization (NGO) in Turkey since 2000, launched a health campaign on Twitter on April 15, 2020. The campaign is about the bad effects of smoking on the human lungs.
  • It shows the link between COVID-19 and smoking. Its exact message tells people that cigarettes and hookah can cause the disease to be more severe, and people should stay away from tobacco products during the epidemic period.
  • This social media post uses text graphic as an image. There is no picture or icon. Compared to other Twitter campaigns of Mavi Kalem, this one has fewer likes and shares. Nevertheless, it is informative, and it sounds professional.
  • Access the attached google document to see the campaign image.

Pharmacies and Drug Supply Campaign

  • Turkish Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Service (T.C. AiLe) announced the extension of their current protocol regarding drug supply through their Twitter campaign posted on the 6th of April 2020.
  • The campaign message included the protocol agreement between the pharmacies and the government. It was supposed to end on March 31, 2020, and a new protocol negotiation should take place. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they needed to postpone the negotiation process.
  • The post presents an image of a man in a pharmacy wearing a mask, gloves, and a white short-sleeve laboratory coat. The photo has a heart graphic at the center with Turkish words on it.
  • T.C. AiLe has used an effective Twitter campaign by linking it to an article on its website, further explaining that the government cares for its citizens, and thus, healthcare is always accessible.
  • 246 Twitter users retweeted the post, and it now has 580 likes. The campaign engagement is also high as many people wrote their opinions on the comment section regarding public health, drugs, and how to stay safe during the pandemic.
  • Access the attached google document to see the campaign image.

Equal Healthcare for Everyone Campaign

  • Ministry of Health — Turkey, launched a campaign on December 10, 2019.
  • The objective of the campaign is to make people realize that health is a fundamental right of every human being, and people should have equal healthcare benefits regardless of religion, language, race, and gender.
  • The message clearly states that the Ministry of Health's primary duty is to provide qualified healthcare to all.
  • All the words and phrases used in this content are reassuring and appealing.
  • As a result, the post has 228 likes, and people retweeted it 116 times.
  • Moreover, the Ministry of Health — Turkey was able to engage its Tweeter followers by using effective visual content. The campaign has a picture of a sick child in a hospital staring at the woman's face. It appeals to human emotions and influences Tweeter users to leave a comment.
  • Access the attached google document to see the campaign image.

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Global Public Health Campaigns on Twitter: Canada

In October 2019, Toronto Public Health launched the Kids Talk Vaccines campaign to convince "parents to vaccinate their kids." Choosing Wisely Canada's Using Antibiotics Wisely campaign focused on fighting antibiotic resistance by using antibiotics wisely. The goal of the Ontario government's latest COVID-19 campaign is to inform the public about the latest advice from the province's Medical Officer of Health.

Kids Talk Vaccines (Toronto Public Health)

Using Antibiotics Wisely (Choosing Wisely Canada)

COVID-19 (Ontario Government)


From Part 01