Malaria No More and the Lalela Project announced today their new joint effort in Senegal, NightWatch. Senegalese singer Youssou NDour and other international celebrities are taking to the African airwaves to leverage the power of celebrity voices and deliver an important nightly message about malaria.
NightWatch is an interactive media campaign that will use radio, television and cell phone text messaging (SMS) to remind people to sleep under their mosquito net to protect themselves from malaria. The program is currently rolling out in Senegal with the help of Youssou NDour. His nightly radio message “Its 9 P.M. – Are you and your family safe under your mosquito nets tonight?” can be heard in the local language, Wolof, here: http://bit.ly/9fh8Ek.
“Using something as simple and widespread as radio to reach Senegalese families will act as a reminder that nets save lives, “ says singer and humanitarian Youssou NDour. “Across my country, mothers and fathers are committed to keeping their families safe from malaria and Senegal’s children are hanging up their nets as part of their nightly routine.”
Launched by Malaria No More and the Lalela Project, the goal of the NightWatch program is to increase life-saving mosquito net usage, minimize the incidence of malaria and therefore bring down malaria deaths in Africa, where a child dies of the disease every 45 seconds. To add more star power to the campaign, Senegalese-born musician Akon also recorded a nightly message for Senegalese radio.
“I grew up in Senegal and know what malaria can do to families there,” says Akon. “I am honored to have the chance to raise awareness about the disease and be part of a program that is helping protect families in my home country.”
NightWatch will provide a consistent reminder at 9 p.m., every night of the week. In conjunction with the media campaign, an educational curriculum has been developed to roll-out across schools in Senegal. The curriculum will target youth ages 12 to 14 and will be implemented in schools nationwide to reinforce media messaging about malaria prevention and treatment.
Details about the NightWatch campaign can be found at www.MalariaNoMore.org/what-we-do/NightWatch.