In a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Grameenphone uses SMS alerts to remind subscribers to vaccinate children for polio.
Grameenphone launched the initiative in connection with the National Immunization Day (NID) in 2007. Since then, Grameenphone has launched six awareness campaigns in the fight against the re-emergence of polio in Bangladesh.
SMS alerts to raise awareness
In an effort to raise awareness, Grameenphone sent text messages to subscribers, reminding them to vaccinate all children under the age of five for polio. The initiative was greatly appreciated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Bangladesh. Prior to the NID in 2007, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) sent letters to all the telecommunication service providers in the country, urging them to send out SMS alerts to all their subscribers.
Public service announcement in two main newspapers
During the campaigns, Grameenphone sent out two rounds of text messages, one to inform subscribers that a National Immunization Day was taking place, and another round of messages to remind its subscribers to take their children to get vaccinated. Grameenphone further supported this effort by printing a full page public service announcement in two of the dailies with the highest circulation and readership – The Daily Star and Prothom Alo.
In the 2010 campaign to raise awareness for the polio vaccine, Grameenphone recruited the “Baol Singers”. These traditional folk singers did their part and called parents to encourage them to get their children to the nearest vaccination center. Grameenphone also provided transportation to the vaccination centers, as well as using an SMS and media campaign to promote the cause.