Since the recent, and most deadly outbreak of the Ebola, more than 12,000 people have been infected and much of West Africa’s economic progress has been regressed, especially in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three worst hit countries.
To stop the spread of this disease, international and corporate organisations have donated billions of dollars to assist in clinical management, medical co-ordination and social infrastructure development. Technology, however, has not been left out as mobile app developers are scrambling to produce the most innovative solution that could finally halt the spread of Ebola.
Thousands of people, including those in rural communities have aptly relied on these apps to keep them informed about the Ebola virus. Here are some of those that have proved helpful:
Ebola Care App
Developer: Philip and Malan Joubert
The mobile app is designed to help healthcare workers trace those infected as quickly as possible. This have proven successful in the prevention new infections, collection of patient data, locating resources, and identifying and providing care for children who have been abandoned after their parents contracted Ebola.
By using the app, information can easily be recorded, filed and sent to the medical centre and entered onto a central database, which could be used for future cases. The app is currently being used in Liberia by non-profit organisation, More than Me.
About Ebola app
Developer: A group of tech experts at Singularity University
Created under an Israeli-led technology platform, Snapp, the “About Ebola app” is one of the most popular of its kind with over 5,000 downloads.
Available in several local dialects including Jola, Krio, and Wolof, which are commonly spoken language in affected areas, the app informs health workers and residents about the dangers of the virus. It also provides measures for prevention and proper disposal of the dead bodies infected by Ebola.
When Ebola first broke in Nigeria, this Google app was used to identify top questions most people wanted answered about the disease.
The phone app helped reduce reporting times by half. Average report time usually stretched as much as 12 hours. But the app reduced reporting time to six hours. It now takes less than 30 minutes to tender a complaints or alert health officials.
In Nigeria, Journalists were trained by Google on how to use the app to identify the top questions the public had about the disease.
Ebola info App
Developer: BBC World Service and Mxit
Like other Ebola-focused apps, the Ebola info App was created to provide critical information to people. The free app is available on over 8000 mobile devices and is the first information service of its kind.
Contents on the app are offered in English and French. Users can also listen to public health information as the BBC World Service’s 30-second podcasts features updates and ways to avoid Ebola.
Sierra Leone Ebola Trend App
Developer: Al Turay
The Sierra Leone Ebola Trend App offers news and information on the devasting the Ebola viral disease (EVD) has ravaged the people of Sierra Leone and West Africa.
The app provides current statistics including expanded details on lost lives, health officials and survivors and how to take further precautions to prevent the disease. It also helps to keep users engaged by sharing stories, pictures and videos of popular news briefs about the disease.
Developer: UNICEF and Liberia Ministry of Health
mHero (Mobile Health Worker Ebola Response and Outreach) is an application that supports the effort to fight the rising Ebola epidemic. It is available on RapidPro, an open-source platform that helps governments deliver rapid and vital real-time information and connect communities to lifesaving services
mHero reports on new cases, broadcast messages about care and prevention, report emerging cases, share training information, and allow for real-time coordination between the ministry and the health workers.
Developers: Martine Pandam, Luc Alapini and Michael Chu’no Ike.
The app aims to educate and connect rural communities through voice messages in their local languages, to information about Ebola.
The app recently emerged the first winning startup of the AMPION African Venture Buses challenge for 2014. Halt Ebola will be supported by AMPION and its sponsor Microsoft with free software and mentoring.