Launch of World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day 2021: the role of evidence in an infodemic

world evidence-based healthcare day

World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day will take place again this year on 20 October – learn more on the website

On World Evidence-Based Healthcare (EBHC) Day, seven leaders in evidence-based healthcare spotlight the global impact of evidence on healthcare research, policy, practice and health outcomes.

Today JBI, Cochrane, Campbell Collaboration, GIN, the Institute for Evidence-Based Healthcare, the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care and NICE launch the World EBHC Day 2021 campaign, ‘the role of evidence in an infodemic’. 

The 2021 campaign supports the infodemic management efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) by exploring the role of evidence in an infodemic, in particular promoting access to trustworthy, evidence-informed health information.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of developing rapid evidence-informed responses and ensuring the best available evidence is accessible, transparent and understood. The rapid response of the global evidence community has been important and necessary. However, it has been accompanied by the exponential production of misinformation which has contributed to the creation of a global infodemic,” explains Bianca Pilla, World EBHC Day Committee Chair.

The overabundance of information and the distribution of misinformation is amplified through social media and spreads like a virus, making it hard for people to find trustworthy, evidence-based guidance when they need it.

“Never before has there been a more urgent need for a coordinated, evidence-based approach to mitigating the harm caused by an infodemic and the spread of health misinformation. COVID-19 misinformation is harming communities and individuals,” says Dr Sylvie Briand, Director of the WHO Department of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness.

The World EBHC Day campaign in 2021 responds to the WHO’s call for action. Guided by infodemiologist Gunther Eysenbach’s work on infodemic management and the WHO’s infodemic management framework, JBI, together with the organising partners of World EBHC Day, provide a platform for the global evidence community to share their experiences, stories and collective wisdom. 

WHO has produced a public health research agenda which recognises that infodemic management is an emerging and evolving field of research and practice, and that transdisciplinary synthesis is required to develop the field.

“The infodemic has been a major challenge to achieving an evidence-informed response to COVID-19,” says Dr Karla Soares-Weiser, Editor in Chief of the Cochrane Library. “This year’s World EBHC Day will be a timely opportunity for the evidence community to come together and explore our role in the responding to the current infodemic, as well as to consider how we can prepare for future infodemics.”

World EBHC Day calls on individuals and organisations in healthcare around the world to take action as we lead up to World EBHC Day on 20 October. Visit worldebhcday.org and contribute to a global response for infodemic management.

About World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day 2021

World Evidence-Based Healthcare (EBHC) Day is held on 20 October each year. It is a global initiative that raises awareness of the need for better evidence to inform healthcare policy, practice and decision making in order to improve health outcomes globally. It is an opportunity to participate in debate about global trends and challenges, but also to celebrate the impact of individuals and organisations worldwide, recognising the work of dedicated researchers, policymakers, health professionals, and consumers in improving health outcomes.

For more information, please visit the World EBHC Day website

Monday, July 26, 2021