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UNICEF turns to SMS to get word out about polio

o Michael Malakata
24.07.2009 kl 19:33 |

The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is sending SMS text messages to millions of Zambian parents this week as part of a new initiative to harness information and communication technology (ICT) in the fight to prevent polio.

 

The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is sending SMS text messages to millions of Zambian parents this week as part of a new initiative to harness information and communication technology (ICT) in the fight to prevent polio.

UNICEF has joined forces with pan-African mobile service providers Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) and Zain to send SMS text messages informing million of subscribers of the activities taking place during the campaign against the crippling disease. The campaign is taking place in 28 districts bordering Angola, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

UNICEF Zambia representative Lotta Sylwander said UNICEF is encouraging parents to bring their children under the age of 5 to the nearest health care center for vaccination. Sylwander said it was time UNICEF used modern technology to reach parents and ensure child health.

"Take you child under the age of five to the nearest health center for free vaccination," is the message Zambian mobile users are reading.

MTN and Zain are the largest mobile service providers in Africa whose networks have expanded even to rural areas.

"This is a new initiative to harness modern technology in the fight again polio," Sylwander said.

The campaign at the center of Zambia's child health week activities is part of the global polio eradication initiative, a partnership between the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Keywords: Telecommunication  
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