During the 2017-2018 cholera outbreak in the DRC, Viamo partnered with UNICEF to provide on-demand information using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and USSD messaging to increase the general populations’ knowledge of yellow fever vector control and improve WASH practices, specifically targeting cholera, at the household and community level.
Key messages were created for both yellow fever and cholera, as well as WASH best practices. Over 270,000 people listened to the yellow fever messages, and over 144,000 people listened to the WASH and cholera messages through the nationwide, mobile 1-5-5 (now 4-2-5-0-2) service. The message timing aligned with the cholera epidemic throughout DRC, and an SMS campaign was also coordinated with Vodacom Foundation at the height of the outbreak, with text messages sent to 1-5-5 Service listeners in Kinshasa in February 2018.
Afterwards, an impact evaluation was conducted through push IVR. As a result of listening to the messages, 57% of respondents reported that they improved their knowledge of cholera, and 62% of respondents reported that they improved their knowledge of yellow fever.
Viamo developed family planning messages with MSI in Madagascar on the nation-wide 3-2-1 Service. The 3-2-1 callers were referred to the MSI 411 health hotline to access more information and book a consultation for family planning services. Within only three months, 2,204 people using the 3-2-1 Service in Madagascar were referred to MSI’s 411 health hotline to access more information on family planning.
Up to 21,400 Tanzanian women are currently living with obstetric fistula, with an estimated 3,000 more developing the condition each year. Due to social stigma, limited knowledge of available treatment and the condition itself, affected women are often rejected by their communities and live in isolation, making their identification and referral for treatment a major challenge.
Viamo partnered with CCBRT, one of the main disability hospitals, and the largest provider of fistula treatment in Tanzania. Content on fistula treatment was added to the nation-wide 3-2-1 Service to address the knowledge barrier to treatment and to refer women to the CCBRT Fistula Hotline. Every person that calls the 3-2-1 Service is first asked if they know what fistula is. If they respond “no”, they are automatically provided with the definition. At the end of every key message, callers are also referred to the CCBRT Fistula Hotline to access more information.
Both of these projects are still in early stages but are already demonstrating how important access to on-demand information is, with regards to referral rates for health-related projects. By putting content on the 3-2-1 Service, callers were able to access information that aided them in seeking out consults and appointments.
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