In times of crisis, people turn to Facebook to learn about what’s happening, share their experiences and offer support.
In the past few months, Ebola has directly impacted the populations of multiple countries in West Africa. According to the World Health Organization, there have been over 13,000 cases of this deadly disease around the world.
Today we are announcing three initiatives that we hope will help fight Ebola:
- An easy way to donate – a Donate feature to raise awareness and funds for International Medical Corps, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Save the Children
- Health education – collaborating with UNICEF to show information on Ebola symptoms and treatment to people in targeted regions on Facebook
- Emergency voice and data services – working with NetHope to provide vital communications capacity to medical and aid workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
An easy way to donate:
Organizations involved in the fight against Ebola are using Facebook to raise funds for their relief efforts.
We want to amplify these calls for action and help organizations raise awareness and connect directly with people around the world. Over the next week, people on Facebook will see a message at the top of News Feed with an option to donate to three different nonprofits doing important work on the ground in West Africa: International Medical Corps, the Red Cross and Save the Children.
To do this, we are using our Donate feature, where people can donate directly to one of these three organizations. If they want to, people can also choose to share that they donated on Facebook.
All of the money raised will go directly to the charities working on the ground. Please visit facebook.com/fightebola to learn more.
Accurate public health information is critical to containing the spread of Ebola.
We are working with UNICEF to deliver important education about Ebola symptoms and treatment to people in affected and neighboring regions. These UNICEF messages, which appear in News Feed in the appropriate local language, focus on Ebola detection, prevention and treatment.
Emergency voice and data services:
Communication and access to information is crucial to people fighting Ebola on the ground, but many of the areas most affected lack the infrastructure, like landline and cellular coverage, to support them.
Working with NetHope, a consortium of 41 leading international NGOs, we are donating 100 mobile satellite communication terminals for deployment in remote areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and to provide voice and data services that meet the highest priority needs of medical and aid workers. These terminals, called Broadband Global Area Network devices, communicate via satellite and provide mobile broadband and telephony services.
Focusing on areas where there is little to no existing communications capacity, NetHope will deploy these terminals to help medical and aid workers with contact tracing, communication, case management and community mobilization. Response organizations estimate that for each patient, at least 10 other people will provide health care, contact tracing and other services that may require telecommunications — and improvements are most important in rural areas where infrastructure is weakest and case loads are highest.
If not addressed, the Ebola epidemic could become a long-term global health crisis. Together with our partners, we’re hopeful that by offering people the tools they need, we can all help fight this disease.