La Santé au Bout du Fil (Health On Line) was a health communication campaign that aimed to combat HIV/AIDS and malaria in Mali. Launched by Population Services International (PSI)/Mali and the Mali-based telecommunications carrier Ikatel, this social marketing campaign used information and communication technologies (ICTs) - namely, cellular technology and a website designed specifically for young people - in an effort to improve health.
Communication Strategies: 

This project used ICTs to share factual information, foster the exchange of HIV/AIDS- and malaria-related experiences, and encourage the purchase of products that aim to support good health. Namely, the project sent text messages with PSI/Mali-created health slogans twice a month to 350,000 clients, free of charge. HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention slogans were also being printed on one million pre-paid phone cards. Specifically, simple, concrete messages such as "Anyone can get HIV - everyone can prevent it" and "Protect your family against malaria - use an insecticide-treated mosquito net" were part of the campaign’s aim to raise awareness and promote PSI's products: Protector brand condoms, BLOC insecticide net retreatment kits, and Super Moustiquaire Famille Protégée treated nets.

All the HIV messages in this social marketing campaign contain a reference to an interactive sexual health website created by PSI/Mali for young, urban Malians. The site - 100% Jeune (no longer online) - included information on transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, as well as on contraception and family planning. The website provided information not only about HIV/AIDS, but also about reproductive and sexual health and male-female relationships, in an anonymous and interactive format. Interactivity was facilitated through a doctor who answered questions posed by visitors to the site and a forum for Malian youth. Abstinence, fidelity, and condoms were all discussed. Entertaining tactics were also reflected in the various quizzes and games offered here.

Partnership was a key component: The same messages sent by Ikatel scrolled at the top of every web page, a strategy for reinforcing the connection between the two partners.

Development Issues: 

HIV/AIDS, Family Planning, Youth, Health.

Partner Text: 

Ikatel and PSI/Mali, with funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Government of Luxembourg; and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).


Afro-nets Digest, Vol 2, Issue 120, December 6, 2004; and "Mali: High Impact through High Tech" on the PSI website.