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iPLATO launch malaria information by text

Britons travelling abroad to exotic destinations are now able to receive immediate and free travel health information regarding malaria thanks to a new text messaging service developed by mobile healthcare specialist iPLATO. The service, funded by GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health as part of the Malaria Awareness Campaign, allows travellers to text in the name of their destination country to receive relevant information about the malaria prevalence in that country.
 
Despite the fact that malaria is a preventable disease every year approximately 2,000 British travellers return home with malaria, making the UK one of the biggest importers of malaria among industrialised countries. It is hoped that by making it easier for travellers to access important health advice via their mobile phone that this number will be reduced. The service is designed so that once a traveller has been informed about the level of malaria risk at their destination they will be encouraged to contact a healthcare professional for expert advice on protection. Travellers using the service are charged their standard operator rates and the service is available over all networks.
 
Malaria is a risk for British travellers as people increasingly visit countries where malaria is common; there has been a 150% increase in travel to malarious destinations amongst British travellers in the last 10 years. The humble mosquito may be tiny, but it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to transmit this potentially deadly disease.
 
‘We are delighted with using the mobile channel in helping people correctly assess the malaria risk at their destinations”, says Tobias Alpsten, Managing Director iPLATO. ‘Early reports on the volume of text interactions by travellers using the Malaria Advice Service during the months of May and June alone validate the usefulness of this service and its potentially life saving benefits. We hope that frequent travellers will save this phone number and consult this service whenever they have to.”
 
If you are travelling abroad and would like to use the service, please text the name of your destination country to 07800 000573 and you will receive the text response with further information. This is not a Premium Rate Service and you will be charged according the standard text message rate set by your network provider.

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