The Ministry of Health and Child Care and UNICEF have made the Official COVID-19 Information Hub available through SMS free for Econet Users.
With the support of Econet, access to the Information Hub is available by sending an SMS from any mobile phone. Simply text the word “Hi” to the number 2019.
Econet has over 11 million mobile subscribers in Zimbabwe.
The automated messaging chatbot uses menu prompts to provide official and latest updates including the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) daily updates, prevention, and general information as well as approved key messages for the general public in Zimbabwe.
The SMS access to the Information Hub is a follow on from the successful WhatsApp Information Hub which is available for people with phones that can access WhatsApp (see details in the graphic below). To date, more than 80,000 users have registered on the WhatsApp Hub with more than 1.5 million messages exchanged.
The purpose of SMS access to the Information Hub is to reach more people across Zimbabwe particularly in regional and rural populations who may not have smartphones or access to WhatsApp.
UNICEF urges all media and partners to promote the SMS and WhatsApp Information Hubs through their media platforms and inform the people of Zimbabwe how to access this important information