OPINION: Ebola Survivors in West Africa to Share Stories via Mobile App to Help Fight Stigma
Monday, January 5, 2015
Ebola survivors in the three West African countries worst hit by the epidemic will share their stories through a mobile application to be launched on Monday, in a UNICEF-backed campaign to inform and fight stigma around the disease.
The Ebola outbreak, the worst on record of the highly infectious haemorrhagic fever, has killed over 7,900 people with more than 20,000 cases recorded mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Although many people have survived the disease, they still face rejection and stigma from their communities, while the virus continues to spread due to lack of information and denial, according to the WHO and other health organizations.
The campaign called #ISurvivedEbola, is funded by U.S philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft Paul G. Allen’s foundation which has committed $100 million to fight the disease. UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency is collaborating in the project.
Survivors in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia will be given smartphones and will document their stories and exchange tips on how to cope with it for a mobile app, which will be available to the public, the backers said in a statement.