New Facebook Messenger chatbot informs Cambodians about Covid-19

Across the world, tech and digital companies are using their skills to help in the battle against Covid-19. In Cambodia, digital marketing company Sousday Cambodia has created a specialized Covid-19 chatbot available through Facebook Messenger that allows users to access trusted information about the virus as well as offering a symptoms checker that can help people determine whether they might have been infected .

“Over 7 million people in Cambodia are using Messenger, that is why we decided to develop the chatbot, so it’s accessible for everyone. We are trying to inform people about the situation by sharing facts, knowledge and education videos from the Ministry of Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO and UNICEF,” said Sousdey’s IT Manager Chanoudom Prach.

The chatbot allows users to view video content and links to official information sources or to ask questions. Users can also take a test if they are not feeling well and want to check if their symptoms could be caused by Covid-19. The content is available in both Khmer and English.
“I was scared about having the virus and also wanted to find more information. My colleagues forwarded me the chatbot and I just clicked and tried to test my symptoms. It was very convenient,” said Pechsovan Yem, one of the users of the chatbot.

So far, over 1800 people have interacted with the chatbot, with around 600 also taking the test.

“Around 90% of people told us they like it, since they can just press a button and get all the information and can even do a basic test about their knowledge of Covid-19, they say it’s useful and informative.” said Mr. Prach.

Outside of automatic interactions, people ask mostly about the current situation in Cambodia, the most recent number of cases and how to protect themselves from the disease.

Users appreciate that it’s easy to access, summarizes the most important points and gives them comprehensive information they can share with their families.

“I was a little unsure in the beginning if it wasn’t a scam, but my friend confirmed that it has reliable information from the Ministry of Health, also translated into Khmer, which is very useful, because there are less resources in Khmer than in English, especially when we want to find out more about the symptoms. And since it has emojis, it’s also quite a lot of fun,” said Ms. Yem

The company recently offered the Covid-19 chatbot to the Ministry of Health and the two are now discussing the option of integrating the chatbot to the Ministry’s Facebook page.

To try out the chatbot and learn more about Covid-19 in Cambodia, click here.