by Aditi Krishnan
- The postman does not just deliver mail in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. He is going to be chatting up consumers on Japanese encephalitis. Prevention strategies will be his main topic of discussion.
- Senior doctors from District Hospital Medical College and WHO health officials have been roped in to instruct the mailmen. 80 postmen have already been trained.
- The Gorakhpur postal division’s initiative hopes to provide the month-long training to 2,000 postmen in batches of 40 (TimesOfIndia.com, 21 December 2011).
- Consumers will be advised by the postal employees to unfailingly use mosquito nets and also plant tulsi saplings around their homes as precautionary measures.
- Gorakhpur has around 6,000 post offices.
- Japanese encephalitis, a communicable and potentially fatal viral disease spread by mosquitoes, is fairly common in many states.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- In many rural areas where communities are fairly tightknit, postmen are a shade more garrulous than their urban counterparts and on easy terms with consumers. They don’t just deliver mail but also bringing local news/gossip. When on such easy terms with the locals, it is convenient for them when adequately trained to impart important information.
- Rural consumers are likely to be quite receptive to suggestions from mailmen who are usually locally based and considered to be long-standing acquaintances. The novel strategy might be an effective way of dispensing awareness.
- Japanese encephalitis is often regarded as a public health menace. Authorities recognise the need for urgent control measures for susceptible populations.