Peace Corps and Vodacom Join Together to Increase ITN Use

Aug 2015
U.S. Peace Corps Mozambique Country Director, Sanjay Mathur (right), and Vodacom Mozambique CEO, Salimo Abdula, celebrate the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding. Credit: Vodacom

Since 2013, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has supported a third year Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique who is working as the National Malaria Coordinator. This volunteer was instrumental in establishing an innovative collaboration with the mobile communications company Vodacom; which included organizing meetings between the national malaria control program (NMCP), Peace Corps, and Vodacom to define the terms of the agreement for the partnership. In November 2014, this culminated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Peace Corps and Vodacom, which outlined their commitment to work together to fight malaria.

As part of their social responsibility work, Vodacom has agreed to provide long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs) to communities where Peace Corps Malaria Volunteers are promoting behavior change education for malaria prevention. Peace Corps volunteers will provide information about malaria, including the signs and symptoms, transmission, prevention, and treatment, through a variety of different community projects such as murals, theater group presentations, and trainings of community health workers and community leaders. Peace Corps is able to do these community projects in conjunction with the net distributions with the support of PMI funding they receive each year. Through this new partnership with Vodacom, volunteers will be able not only to educate individuals about sleeping under mosquito nets, but also provide the ITNs to the beneficiaries who need them. With PMI funding, two trainings of trainers and net distributions are planned for Guija, Gaza and Pemba City, and Cabo Delgado next month.

Vodacom also works with other partners on this initiative, including Televisao de Mozambique, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Grupo Soico and Radio Mozambique. As part of this initiative, Vodacom already has distributed more than 20,000 long-lasting ITNs, of which 1,300 were distributed through Peace Corps.  

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