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Haiti - Health : SMS and malaria
01/05/2011 10:12:20

Haiti - Health : SMS and malaria
The Haitian Red Cross has launched a prevention campaign against malaria in throughout the country, with the sending of SMS to more than 3.5 million people. The messages include information such as how the malaria is transmitted, how to recognize symptoms, treatment options and the simple steps for prevention. The SMS campaign is only a part of the strategy of the Red Cross in Haiti, which focuses on the engagement and the participation of the community.

"Mobile technology is a fast, easy and economical way to make available information that can save lives directly in the hands of the people"

The SMS campaign has also encouraged the Haitians to listen the weekly program of Radyo Wouj Kwa, which is broadcast live nationwide on the network of Radio 1. A special program dedicated to malaria with invited experts, including Dr. Clergé Junior Agénor, Coordinator of Program of Health Emergency of the Haitian Red Cross and Jean-Philippe Strayford, promoter of hygiene. Listeners had the opportunity to appeal directly to ask questions and get appropriate answers. The appellants were anxious to know among other things: how to manage insecticide-treated mosquito nets, if nets are dangerous to humans, what specific measures could be taken to protect children against malaria.

"Hundreds of volunteers of the Red Cross visit the camps and communities every day," has declared Dr. Clergé Junior Agenor. These young reinforce the messages of awareness and simple preventive measures with community members, such as information on cleansing, the destruction of places, where mosquitoes can breed easily and the promotion of the use of insecticide treated bednets. Pregnant women and young children especially are the groups most at risk.

Besides this awareness activity, the Haitian Red Cross also provides a distribution targeted of insecticide-treated bed nets to families in selected communities at risk of Carrefour, Mirebalais, Arcahaie, Sainte Marie, Léogâne and Petit Goâve. A total of 500 families will benefit from these nets.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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