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Kenyan Startup Echo Mobile Joins IBM & Airtel in the Fight against Ebola

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IBM has announced various partnerships in Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak.  The programmes include donation of IBM Connections technology in Lagos Nigeria to prevent future outbreaks and a citizen engagement platform in Sierra Leone.

Kenya’s startup, Echo Mobile has also been roped in, in conjunction with Airtel to help communities in Sierra Leone.

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Echo Mobile will enable the citizens to report Ebola related issues through SMS and Voice. IBM’s new Africa research lab will also use the Sierra Leone’s Open Government Initiative,

“For us to tackle Ebola, it is crucial to maintain an open dialogue between the government and the people of Sierra Leone,” said Khadija Sesay Director of Sierra Leone’s Open Government Initiative.

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“IBM has enhanced our work on citizen engagement through the use of innovative technology and opened up an effective communication channel with the general public so that we can learn from their input and create actionable policies in the fight against Ebola.”

“We’re working to make sure that the stream of messages from patients, health workers and the general public can be used to augment the response effort and provide a direct and near real-time view of the situation on the ground,” Jeremy Gordon, Product Director, Echo Mobile added.

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IBM also plans to use the data to map out population movement through mobile phone signals in a bid to track the spread of the disease.

“Data can be a powerful resource for managing and mitigating epidemics,” said Jeanne Holm, Evangelist for Data.Gov.

Vince Matinde
Vince Matindehttp://www.matinde.com
All things digital. Africa is the next tech space to watch out for. Keep it here as I tell you all about it @matinde. Email me at [email protected]

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