Ebola survivors to share stories via mobile app, help fight stigma - CNBC Africa

Ebola survivors to share stories via mobile app, help fight stigma

Special Report

by Reuters 0

A mobile application to inform and fight stigma around the Ebola disease is expected to be launched on Monday.

The application is expected 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).

(READ MORE: Ebola spreads in Sierra Leone as global cases top 20,000 – 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 organisations.

The campaign called #ISurvivedEbola is funded by US philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft Paul G. Allen’s foundation which has committed 100 million dollars to fight the disease. UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, is collaborating on 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.

“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,” Rafael Obregon of UNICEF said in the statement.

“#ISurvivedEbola is reinforcing our efforts by providing this information in multiple, highly entertaining forms, including through the testimonies of actual survivors,” Obregon said.

(READ MORE: Ebola’s effect on the human mind)

Survivors who have agreed to contribute include Camara “Fanta” Fantaoulen in Guinea who lost six members of her family to Ebola, and Decontee Davis, a 23-year-old from Liberia who overcame Ebola but lost her fiancé.

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