The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has revealed that it has, in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), activated a short code – “6232” for verified information.
NCDC said the number was introduced for the public to contact their Connect Centre and access verified information on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of NCDC, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, that the short code was toll-free and easy-to-remember
According to him, this means that all calls to NCDC through “6232” are free of charge, adding that call lines were expanded to receive multiple calls simultaneously.
He stated that between March and December 2020, the NCDC Connect Centre received over 580,000 COVID-19-related phone calls.
“This is to ensure that Nigerians have access to verified information on infectious diseases.
“Following the confirmation of Nigeria’s first COVID-19 case in February 2020, NCDC immediately expanded its Connect Centre capacity to meet the increasing need for information by Nigerians.
He explained that, “the short code number ‘6232’ will be used alongside the existing toll-free number – ‘0800 9700 0010’, with a gradual phase-out of the existing toll free number.”
The NCDC boss thanked the NCC and its partners at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, GAVI, UNICEF, University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), Georgetown University, Resolve to Save Lives and Interra Networks for their support.
“Additionally, we recognise and thank mobile network providers in Nigeria – Globacom, MTN, Airtel, 9mobile – who continued to support our efforts in communicating with Nigerians,” he noted
Ihekweazu, however, urged Nigerians to use the short code responsibly in accessing verified information on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.