ILO, SSB and Rakuten Viber collaborate to raise awareness on COVID-19 preventive measures through innovative Viber stickers

On Friday, 15 May 2020, Viber users in Myanmar will be able to download a COVID-19 prevention sticker pack called ‘Let’s overcome this together!’

Press release | 21 May 2020
U Maung Maung Aye, Director General of the Social Security Board (SSB) said: “When we started to develop the characters and messages (of the stickers), we put careful consideration because we want the stickers to be attractive, enjoyable and useful for everyone and particularly insured workers we are protecting. We want our workers, their families and the public to be safe and healthy”.

Mr. Donglin Li, ILO Liaison Officer/Representative in Myanmar said: “By using this COVID-19 prevention stickers, people could remind each other : to wash their hands thoroughly, wear facemasks outside, keep social distance, eat nutritiously, take proper rest, and  keep the spirit high. I strongly believed we could overcome this crisis together“.

The social insurance schemes, managed by the Social Security Board, first came into effect in 1956 in Myanmar. A new Social Security Law enacted in 2012 and started implementing new social security schemes in 2014. The scheme covers formal sector employees in registered establishments of five or more employees. Insured workers are entitled to cash benefits in cases of sickness, maternity, death, employment injury and disability due to work-related accidents. The scheme also provides free medical care at the SSB’s network of health facilities. As of today, SSB covers around 1.4 million workers in Myanmar.

Viber is an end-to-end encrypted and secured calling and messaging app that connects over one billion users worldwide. It is a cross-platform tool, which can be used on iOS, android mobile and tablets as well as Mac, Window and Linux desktop computers. In Myanmar, it is one of the most used communication apps with over 25 million registered users, which is amounted to more than half of the total population.

Commenting on the initiative, Anubhav Nayyar, Senior Director for APAC, said “In this extraordinary time, Viber is at the forefront of developing solutions to address the challenges we face today. Our recent partnerships such as the WHO chatbot and Covid-19 Viber community paired with our improved product features such as group calls of up to 20 participants are all aimed at connecting people with their family, friends, and colleagues. The COVID-19 prevention sticker pack, in collaboration with ILO and SSB, is an excellent tool to further spread awareness on preventive measures that an individual has to take to avoid getting infected. With our continued collaborative efforts during this pandemic, we aim to ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone around us by keeping them at the centre of all our innovations.”

SSB provided funding to Yangonbee to develop the sticker pack; ILO provided technical assistance and Viber media posted the pack on the sticker market free of charge.

The stickers’ package includes 34 daily expressions related to personal hygiene, physical and mental wellbeing, balanced diet, nutrition, exercise, self-care, prevention and social distancing.

Using stickers while messaging is an interactive way to create awareness, increase knowledge, change attitude and move people to change or continue their behaviour to prevent themselves from COVID-19. Person to person encouragements are the most effective way to promote awareness while online messaging can also allow expression of peer-to-peer concerns on risky health-related behaviours.

Through this collaboration, 25 million registered Viber users in Myanmar will be able to remind their friends, family members, and co-workers on how to prevent themselves from the threats of COVID-19 coronavirus.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Thein Than Htay (National Project Coordinator, ILO-Yangon)