This World Malaria Day 2022 (April 25), Malaria No More India and Facebook owner Meta, announce an expansion of their malaria campaign partnership established in 2020 to combat the deadly disease in India.
Over the next five years, in an effort to help India achieve its goal to become malaria free by 2030, the partnership commits to expanding the successful “Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite” (Hinglish for “Don’t Take the Bite Lightly”) national campaign, raising awareness around the risk of vector-borne diseases during India’s monsoon season.
The campaign will build upon its 2020 and 2021 outreach efforts that reached over 300 million people via a Facebook ad campaign to deliver life-saving messages about preventing malaria, getting tested, and seeking treatment within 24 hours.
In India’s rural communities, where internet connectivity is less accessible – and yet India’s malaria burden is at its highest - the partnership aims to leverage Meta’s community-based WhatsApp messenger service to support grass roots messaging and peer-to-peer learning among vulnerable populations.
The Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite campaign in India has been shown to increase knowledge about malaria among vulnerable populations, and to influence preventative behavior such as the use of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets. Malaria No More and Meta have designed the campaign to be easily replicated in other malaria-affected countries with only minor modifications to meet epidemiologic and cultural differences.
“We are delighted to partner with Meta as we expand our work in India, leveraging their unique ability to tailor and target our life-saving messages using hyperlocal platforms like WhatsApp,” says Martin Edlund, Malaria No More CEO. “Multimedia campaigns like Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite are one critical success factor in ending the world’s oldest and deadliest pandemic, in one of the world’s most populous countries.”
“At Meta, we understand the power of communities and how behavior change can be driven by effective campaigns. Bite Ko Mat Lo Lite is an excellent example of inculcating preventive behavior at the grassroot level towards eliminating malaria. Our partnership with Malaria No More India, reiterates our commitment to be the force of good in the country and leveraging our platforms for improving lives. Since its inception, in 2020, the campaign has been successful in encouraging individuals, families and communities to take steps to protect themselves from this preventable yet deadly disease,” says Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Meta India.