New Delhi: Malaria No More India, with support from Times Bridge, launched the Malaria No More on Google Assistanttoday to Indian audiences using android devices. The function – which is available at no extra cost – will allow android mobile users to command the google assistant on their devices to talk to Malaria No More on Google Assistant. Upon request, the user will instantly get a virtual bot’s assistance for helpful information on malaria, its symptoms, prevention tips, treatment protocols, among other aspects.
To activate this feature, an android user can command their Google Assistant by saying “Ok Google, talk to malaria no more” – the command will prompt a bot (Google Assistant with Actions) that will answer users’ questions on malaria in a conversational manner.
The Malaria No More on Google Assistantwill be available in Hindi and English, and will answer questions like “What is malaria Fever?” “What are the types of malaria? Which is more dangerous” “How does malaria spread” “How to test for malaria” “How to cure/treat malaria” (treatment guidelines) “Where can I get the treatment for malaria/ How much are malaria tablets?”
The initiative holds significance for India in particular, which has one the highest malaria burdens in the world, and is the only country outside Africa among the top 11 highest malaria-endemic countries, according to the World Health Organization.
Speaking on the launch, Dr. Sanjeev Gaikwad, Country Director, Malaria No More India said “We are excited by the launch of theMalaria No More on Google Assistantand grateful for our partners’ support for making this a reality. In this information age, leveraging technology to raise awareness of safety and prevention measures for deadly diseases like malaria can play an important role in improving public health outcomes. Malaria is a grave issue for the Indian society, affecting thousands of lives and livelihoods, and costing billions in lost economic opportunities. As we move closer to India’s goal of becoming malaria free by 2030, innovative tools such as the Malaria No More on Google Assistantwill give a thrust to our malaria fight and bring us closer to achieving India’s goal of eliminating malaria.”
Talking about the initiative, Rudra Prasad Kasturi, Vice President – Audience Growth, Strategy & Partnerships, Times Internet Limited said, “Malaria No More on Google Assistantis the need of the hour; we have tried our best to address the issue which India is combating with an easy to use product like Google Assistant. The idea and intent was so thought-provoking that we didn’t want it to be confined to English as a language but Hindi as well, so that we reach to multilingual speakers across India. We hope and envision just not to address but to join our Malaria No More partners in achieving a malaria-free India and, ultimately, world.”
More than a billion people use Google Assistant worldwide and more and more people are now using Internet in their native language. Keeping this in mind, Malaria No More India made the Action on Google Assistant available in Hindi alongside English and very soon, a third native Indian language will also be introduced so the information can reach a wider audience.
The launch of Malaria No More on Google Assistantcomes at a time when India’s healthcare systems are reeling with the impact of COVID-19, and facing challenges in implementing routine programs – including awareness campaigns – for diseases like malaria. Enabling systems that provide valuable information on being safe from deadly diseases such as malaria will be of significant importance, as we adapt from COVID’s impact.
The launch ofMalaria No More on Google Assistantis another innovative program that Malaria No More India and Times Bridge have partnered on to raise awareness about malaria and its risks and motivate Indians to take actions to protect themselves, their families and their communities from the preventable but deadly disease. Earlier this year, Malaria No More India and Times Bridge joined with partners including Star India, Facebook, Sony Pictures Networks India and WPP, in launchingBite Ko Mat Lo Lite, a national campaign that reached more than 130 million Indians during the recent monsoon season with urgent messages to drive timely prevention, testing and treatment of malaria.
Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Viral Jani, SVP Investment Operations at Times Bridge said “COVID-19 has changed the way we look at the health sector, and the role of technology in fighting diseases like malaria has become even more important. Therefore, we have deployed this technology innovation to effectively communicate with the population at risk across India. Malaria No More on Google Assistantwill strengthen India’s fight against malaria as it will make it easier for people to find credible information easily.”