A Nightly Mosquito Net Reminder Campaign
Malaria is a major health problem, but the fight to end the this disease in Senegal is making huge strides thanks to strong African leadership and scaled-up resources. In the past two years the number of reported cases has dropped significantly. To help maintain this momentum and reduce cases in Senegal even further, the NightWatch program uses TV, radio and SMS text messages to expose over 4 million at-risk people to nightly reminders to sleep safely under their mosquito nets. Since September 2010, popular artists and celebrities like Youssou NDour have been asking their fellow Africans, "Are you and your family safe under your mosquito nets tonight? Sleep peacefully."
Other stars who are lending their highly recognizable names and voices to the campaign include singers Akon, R. Kelly and Viviane, soccer stars Papis Demba Cisse, Moussa Sow and head coach Amara Traore, and the Senegalese Minister of Health Modou Diagne Fada.
In addition to the nightly media campaign, a comprehensive educational school curriculum was developed to instill basic malaria knowledge and encourage disease prevention behaviors in 400 students in urban and rural schools across Senegal.
The curriculum encouraged students to write about their dreams and life goals on a banner to attach inside of their mosquito nets — so they could go to sleep safe from malarial mosquitos and wake up knowing their dreams could become a reality.
About the pan-African NightWatch program
NightWatch, a collaboration between Malaria No More and Lalela Project, aims to increase the utilization of malaria control tools, such as mosquito nets, in communities across Africa through a targeted communications campaign that airs nightly at 9 p.m. The idea is simple: broadcast 30 second messages — with a signature sound and recognized local celebrities — seven nights a week through radio, TV and SMS texting to remind people to sleep under their mosquito nets.
This work is supported through critical funding provided by the ExxonMobil Foundation.