Islamabad – February 17, 2010: Mobilink, Pakistan’s market leader in cellular services and part of Orascom Telecom Holding, has reiterated its commitment to eradicate polio from the country by launching today an SMS based service to assist the Polio Control Cell (PCC) in tracking missed areas and children.
Through this SMS service, Mobilink subscribers will be able to report areas and children where the polio immunization teams have not reached. Users will be able to call the teams to their doorstep by typing POLIO and sending the text to ‘7654’ from the 17th to 19th of February. The sender will be contacted by the Polio Control Cell to ensure that the respective health authorities immunize the missed children. Initiated by Mobilink under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella, the SMS is a free service and no charges apply for sending messages to the 7654. Within hours of the launch of the service, thousands of Mobilink users contacted the PCC for immunization.
Addressing media at the Polio Control Cell in Islamabad today, Federal Health Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin made special mention of Mobilink’s 7654 service to assist the Polio Control Cell. The Minister personally tested the Mobilink 7654 service on the spot and expressed his satisfaction upon receiving instant confirmation SMS indicating on behalf of PCC.
Mobilink’s role was also acknowledged by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani at the launch of the first 2010 Anti-Polio campaign held at the PM House earlier this week. “In the current round, the country’s largest mobile operator Mobilink is helping us track and reach missed children. Now parents can send a text message reporting missed areas for children to the national polio control cell and a polio team will be dispatched to their homes within one hour,” Gilani said.
“We need to replicate the spirit of volunteerism exhibited in the anti polio drive and areas as well. This is an excellent model of collaboration at a national scale between different organizations however diverse in fighting a common enemy - disease and disability,” Gilani added.
In addition to this service, Mobilink has also committed to create awareness by sending public service messages to more than 8 million subscribers in districts that have been identified as high-risk by the Polio Eradication Fraternity. Last year, Mobilink joined hands with Ministry of Health and other partner organizations of the Polio Eradication Fraternity to reach out to millions of parents in select high-risk zones across Pakistan. In addition to Mobilink, NADRA, Pakistan Post, Pakistan Motorways Police, Traffic Police in major cities, and major media outfits are working with the Anti-Polio fraternity to make 2010 the last year for polio in Pakistan.