Odomos fights mosquitoes with IMA, school kids

By Chhavi Tyagi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 03, 2008
Dabur joins hands with the IMA to spread awareness on mosquito borne diseases in 350 schools

Dabur & #BANNER1 & # and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) have launched a joint attack on dangerous mosquito borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya through an awareness programme in schools.

It has hired Kidstuff, Mudra's activation agency, to handle the execution of the awareness programme. The campaign has been conceptualised jointly by Dabur and the IMA.

Under the programme, infotainment workshops and discussions will be held in 350 schools in four states, Delhi and the NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The initiative, which began with 1,300 students of Delhi Public School (DPS), Mathura Road, has also been conducted at the Maharaja Agrasen School, Ashok Vihar, in Delhi.

The awareness programme is running simultaneously in all the four states and will continue for two months. It involves primary level students in discussions with teachers and doctors on mosquito borne diseases and the means of preventing them. The students were asked how they could protect themselves against mosquitoes. Their replies ranged from wearing full-sleeved clothes to preventing water stagnation.

It also involves their participation in activities such as Hit the Mosquito, which has the children dressed up in raincoats trying to hit with soft balls a man dressed up as a mosquito. Those who managed to hit the 'mosquito' on his face won prizes.

The programme also has IMA doctors talking about dengue, malaria and chikungunya and how to prevent them. Rajiv Garg of IMA, who was present at the Delhi Public School event, says, "I talked to the students about prevention methods such as wearing full-sleeved clothes, sleeping under mosquito nets and monitoring temperatures and sponging. As doctors, we aren't allowed to promote any brand, so while it was a joint initiative with Odomos, it was all about building awareness."

In an official communiqué, Garg says, "The past few months have seen a marked increase in the number of cases of dengue and chikungunya. What's more alarming is that there is no cure for some of these diseases, so prevention is the most effective manner of dealing with them. Through this initiative, we intend to spread awareness about the diseases and effective ways to keep mosquitoes away."

Though the doctors limited their talks to other prevention methods, Dabur spoke about Odomos, its mosquito repellent brand. The presenters spoke about how Odomos is a good option against mosquitoes.

Speaking to afaqs!, Ramarao Dhamija, senior product manager, Dabur India, says, "Repellents such as coils and vaporisers are only effective in the close confines of the home. Once you open the doors or the windows, they are not effective any more. This year, North India has been badly hit by dengue and other such mosquito borne diseases. We at Dabur realised the necessity of spreading awareness on this topic and that's why the initiative."

To involve the parents of the children, Dabur distributed small packets. Inside each packet was a folded leaflet containing information on how Odomos helps fight mosquitoes and on how the diseases are spread, a sample sachet of Odomos, a colouring section for kids and a quiz for the parents, based on which five lucky entries will be selected and awarded.

Mekha Radhakrishnan of Kidstuff tells afaqs!, "The idea is for the kids to have fun while learning because simple preaching does not work, and for mothers to be aware of the dangers of these diseases. School going children are very much at risk from them because their uniforms are usually skirts and shorts, which leave them exposed to mosquitoes. They are also exposed when they go out to play."

Speaking on the involvement of the IMA, Dhamija of Dabur says, "When we go in for a good cause, we choose a partner which has expertise on the subject and can help a great deal in carrying the initiative forward. The IMA brings its scientific point of view to the campaign."

According to a company official, Dabur has taken other initiatives as well, such as donating Odomos to the state governments of Delhi and Maharashtra for distribution in disease affected areas.