Partners Use Technology to Contain Cholera
UNICEF, Government, and Push Mobile reach users with life-saving information on cholera
Dar es Salaam, 8 December 2015 – Today, Tanzania’s Government, UNICEF and Push Mobile, a mobilecommunication company providing SMS aggregation services across all the available mobile networks in Tanzania, have signed a partnership to reach over 10 million Tanzanian mobile users with life-saving information on cholera. Through the partnership, Push Mobile commits to support UNICEF and the Government’s social mobilization efforts on cholera. For a period of four months, the company will provide SMS push services to share information on cholera.
As part of the agreement, Push Mobile and its UNICEF and government partners will also provide ‘Information on Demand’ on cholera: through this service, mobile users in Tanzania will be able to send the keyword ‘CHOLERA’ – ‘KIPINDUPINDU’ for the Swahili service – to short code ‘15774’ and get free access to cholera information.
“We are supporting UNICEF and the Government to rise to the challenge of stemming the tide of cholera. I am proud that Push Mobile is part of this innovative campaign, which is harnessing the power of technology, partnership and innovation to save people’s lives. Through our partnership with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, we hope to help communities acquire the knowledge needed to identify cholera symptoms, and ways to treat cholera, to prevent and stop transmission of the disease.”
Tanzania is battling a major cholera outbreak, which has so far affected nineteen regions in the country and Zanzibar. The outbreak started in Dar es Salaam, in mid-August 2015, and has progressively extended to nineteen regions of Tanzania, stretching local capacities and resources, with high risk in terms of lives and economic impact. The number of reported cases of Cholera has climbed to over 11,500 and claimed over 150 lives in Tanzania. Tanzania has a total of around 30 million mobile phone subscribers, representing a mobile penetration of 68 per cent.
“This is the second time we are teaming up with Push Mobile on a life-saving communication intervention and we do value the tech company’s responsiveness,” said Mr. Paul Edwards, UNICEF Representative a.i. in Tanzania. “This is a race against the clock to save lives. Technology here is helping us to speed up vital information sharing on cholera, how to prevent it, what are the symptoms and how to treat it, which is critical to limiting contamination and rapidly containing the illness.”
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF Tanzania and its work visit: www.unicef.org/Tanzania
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Said Makora, Ministry of Health: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandra Bisin, UNICEF, Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships; UN Communication Group: email@example.com