World Health Organisation launches RCS COVID campaign, targeting 300m global citizens

The World Health Organization (WHO) is launching a global mobile education campaign looking to contain the ongoing spread of COVID-19. Working in partnership with Out There Impact’s mobile engagement platform and its mobile operator partners, the WHO will distribute messages to more than 300m global citizens by early 2021.

The campaign launches today using Rich Communication Services (RCS) messages, with 15 of Out There Impact’s mobile operator partners in Europe, Africa and Asia, including MTN Ghana, MTN Nigeria and MTN South Africa; Ooredoo Indosat Indonesia; Orange Spain; Telefonica Germany/O2 and O2 UK; Vodacom South Africa; Vodafone Germany and UK; and 9Mobile Nigeria.

Citizens will be able to interact with a chatbot providing life-saving information about preventing the spread of COVID-19, with tips, advice, and a video to stay safe during the pandemic.

This phase of the campaign will reach 200m citizens initially, and be supplemented by further distribution from additional mobile operators, to hit the 300m figure by early 2021. The ultimate aim is to reach the total addressable global audience of Out There Impact’s network, via all its mobile operator partners – some 1.5bn people.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread at alarming rates around the world, it is vital that we arm global citizens with accurate information to keep people safe and informed,” said Andy Pattison, Team Lead Digital Channels at the WHO. “To cut through the abundance of information about the virus and recent COVID-19 vaccine developments, we need clear, reliable messages delivered through direct and engaging platforms, such as through mobile messaging. We greatly appreciate the commitment from Out There Impact and its mobile operator partners in taking such direct and decisive action at a time when it is desperately needed.”

WHO has served as the leading international health agency spearheading the global response to the coronavirus outbreak. Since the beginning, WHO has worked to rapidly establish international coordination, scale up country readiness and response, and accelerate research and innovation. Today, as information on the transmission and epidemiology of the virus evolves, WHO continues to provide essential guidance and public health recommendations to governments, communities and individuals everywhere.