NightWatch is a communications campaign that airs nightly in malaria-endemic communities across Africa at 9 p.m., when the malarial mosquito comes out to bite.
The idea is simple: broadcast a 30-second message every night across TV, radio and SMS to remind people to sleep under their mosquito nets.
Similar to the 1980s American public service announcement that asked parents: "It's 10 p.m... do you know where your children are?" the NightWatch campaign asks families in Africa: "It's 9 p.m... are you and your family safe under your mosquito nets tonight?" Every message features a signature sound and a recognized local celebrity, harnessing the influence of African leaders to highlight the need for consistent use of mosquito nets.
From international music icons to local sports heroes, key celebrities are joining the program, including American singers Akon, Ludacris, 50 Cent and R. Kelly, African singers Youssou NDour, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Lady Ponce, and jazz musician Richard Bona to name a few.
NightWatch is currently supporting the national malaria fight in Senegal and Cameroon, and will launch in Tanzania and Chad soon. The program has demonstrated the ability to engage both local and international celebrity spokespeople, corporate sponsors like the ExxonMobil Foundation, and African political leadership. Also supporting the campaign are leading cell phone companies TIGO Senegal and MTN Cameroon who have committed to blast millions of SMS texts with malaria messaging to their vast subscriber base.
Started by Malaria No More and Lalela Project, NightWatch uses various communications platforms to encourage social mobilization and greater utilization of mosquito nets.
Click here to hear Youssou NDour's NightWatch announcement.