Mumbai's iconic 5,000 dabbawalas Monday delivered WHO messages on prevention and control of vector-borne diseases along with their lunch boxes to mark the World Health Day Monday, an official said.
The specially-created tags went with around 200,000 tiffin boxes to hungry customers across the city creating awareness of the menace of mosquitoes and the "big threat of small bites" in a bid to motivate people to protect themselves and their families.
"While government efforts are critical for effective and efficient control of VBDs, prevention at individual, family and community levels is equally important," said WHO India Representative Dr. Nata Menabde.
Discussing the collaboration with the dabbawalas, she pointed out that they are uniquely placed to reach out to citizens with simple measures to protect themselves from the small bites. "We value their support in sensitizing Mumbaikars."
Nutan Mumnbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Charity Trust's (NMTBSCT) former chief Raghunath Medge said that reaching out to a large number of Mumbaikars would have "a multiplier effect".
"We will do our bit in making the citizens of Mumbai more informed on how to protect themselves and families from mosquitos," Medge assured, saying people may miss billboards, but while opening their lunch box, they would notice the health tag on it.
The WHO-India today called for greater and focused attention to prevent and control VBDs like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, lymphatic filariasis, kala-azare and Japanese encephalitis, all spread by mosquitos.