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The Milwaukee Consortium of Hmong Health works to combat COVID-19 misinformation

The Hmong Consortium summer month outreach and education activities booth.
The Hmong Consortium
Mayhoua Moua
The Hmong Consortium summer month outreach and education activities booth.

Staying up to date on the latest COVID-19 information can be overwhelming. From variants to booster shots, there is a lot to stay informed about. To further complicate things, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Much of that misinformation comes from unchecked sources on social media that do not get flagged — especially if it isn’t in English.

Due to a lack of information in other languages, the CDC has relied heavily on community and non-profit organizations to get necessary information out about COVID-19. Mayhoua Moua is the executive director of the Milwaukee Consortium of Hmong Health.

Moua says groups like the Hmong American Women Association, Hmong American Friendship Association, and the Hmong Chamber of Commerce are all working with the consortium to combat misinformation. The organizations and groups share the common goal of reaching out to their clients to make sure they understand how to protect themselves from COVID-19.

"We try to develop our materials in the different languages that we serve so that [community members] can read it in their language and make sure that they are consulting with doctors if they have any questions," Moua says.

To curb misinformation surrounding COVID-19, non-profit groups and activists alike are demanding that Facebook release how they flag misinformation in different languages. Moua says the consortium and Hmong medical professionals are making more of an effort to have an online presence on platforms like YouTube and Facebook to combat the issue.

"Many of our medical professionals have tried to develop YouTube educational materials to share with our community so that people can get the accurate information about COVID-19," says Moua.

With the booster shot becoming more available to the public, Moua says the consortium is working with the the younger generation to share accurate information online.

"The challenge for us is that many of our people are not as social media savvy," Moua says. "To get the word out to the community at large is very challenging. We have to work with younger generations to help us share the information with their elder parents and relatives."

Because the Milwaukee Consortium of Hmong Health operates face-to-face, they require that all of their clients get vaccinated. Moua says this mandate has helped more of their clients get the vaccine.

Mallory Cheng was a Lake Effect producer from 2021 to 2023.
Kobe Brown was WUWM's fifth Eric Von fellow.
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