Texts from the Government with Love, But Does Everyone Understand?

Image Credit: Zambia Reports

On a hot day (which is every day the past month) the last thing I want is a broadcast message from my network provider about offers that don’t work right or are not even my type of thing but this new text trend surprised me.

Coming with sender’s details as Ministry of Health, I went through everything that could be wrong with me, nearly fainting till I saw the message was just general Ebola prevention tips. Ok fine it wasn’t that dramatic but still, texts from the Government are just, well, scary.


Anyway, the idea is great, for people who have no time to really understand epidemics and general health care and at a time when Ebola has killed thousands and has no cure.

This message was followed by another a few days later from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing alerting the public that it’s Handwashing Day today.


My concern is, are these messages being broadcast in other languages too? For the people who have phones but can not read or speak English? It would be a great but futile move if not region specific. It may also seem like a tedious task to separate the various language preferences for each customer but remember KYC forms that were ALL supposed to be generated onto the various network servers? They have all the details. I don’t know how they will do it but it must be done, to be an effective message to the nation.

So far they have been sent on the Airtel Zambia network but if you have received the messages on either MTN or Zamtel feel free to let us know in the comments section below and tell us all about your Texts from the Government.


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