Social Network for Ebola Survivors Launched to Help them Connect & Share tips

1546286_612219328900966_2513565156664465111_nA new mobile app and website isurvivedebola.org have been launched in West Africa to allow Ebola survivors connect with each other, share public health advice, and update the world on the challenges they still face during their post-recovery lives.

The mobile app aims to leverages survivor stories from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to deliver vital public health information about Ebola to affected populations, and to reduce the stigma faced by Ebola survivors.

The campaign documents survivor stories in video, audio, and print formats; then disseminating these stories broadly via local, national, and international media, online platforms, and other distribution channels.

In a statement, Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions, said, “The mobile app really changes the face of this campaign by empowering the people of West Africa to share stories about Ebola and survivorship with each other and the world.  The app gives a human face to survivorship and has the potential to create a sense of community in which the survivors, rather than being stigmatized, become leaders and heroes in this fight. The new digital components of the campaign extend our reach beyond West Africa, allowing these very moving, personal stories to be seen and heard globally.”

Survivors in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea will each be given a smartphone installed with the app, so they can share information about their lives after recovery.

“While treatment of Ebola patients is critical, the best way to end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is to cut the chain of transmission and prevent further infections,” said Rafael Obregon, Chief of the Communication for Development Section at UNICEF. “As the global UN lead for the Social Mobilization Pillar of the Ebola response in West Africa, UNICEF is at the helm of efforts to stop transmission by working with national governments and partners to educate the public in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea about how to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from the virus. #ISurvivedEbola is reinforcing our efforts by providing this information in multiple, highly entertaining forms, including through the testimonies of actual survivors.”

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