As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the world, forcing millions into a state of near or total lockdown, upending employment and access to care, Maya has developed a comprehensive plan to help individuals through this difficult and uncertain time, to fight misinformation, and to help doctors in their overall efforts.
At the beginning of March, Maya saw a surge in queries related to COVID-19. From February to March, there was a 2700% increase in the number of requests for support and information. In addition to COVID-19 queries, contacts are also up on subjects such as mental health (27%+) and interpersonal communication (163%+).
In order to meet the increased demand, Maya has developed new platforms and strengthened existing ones. In mid-March, the organization established its own hotline for individuals comfortable speaking with an on-demand expert about COVID-19. As of April 25, the hotline has received more than 2,000 calls, 80% of those calls were received just in the month of April. In addition to the hotline, Maya has added an FAQ to its website homepage in both Bangla and English and importantly a symptom tracker.
Maya also reaches a broad audience through its chatbots in Bangla, Arabic and English languages on its Facebook pages. As the organization’s audience stretches beyond Bangladesh and serves users in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, it is essential that users have access to the most up-to-date COVID-19 content. Through the bot, concerned individuals can ask questions and receive immediate and accurate responses on topics such as the basics of COVID-19: how it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, medicine, and statistics. Approximately 60% of queries received ask for a definition of coronavirus. In March, the bots interacted with users more than 45,000 times. To date in April, the number of users has exceeded 40,000.