CONAKRY, Guinea – #ISurvivedEbola (http://www.isurvivedebola.org), the groundbreaking West African multimedia campaign, has launched a new, interactive mobile app that allows Ebola survivors to connect with each other, share public health advice, and update the world on the challenges they still face during their post-recovery lives. The innovative digital tool debuted in Guinea on January 5. It is being piloted by the first Guinean survivor to share her story with the #ISurvivedEbola campaign. The updates from the app appear on the newly launched website (http://www.isurvivedebola.org), which also houses the stories of a growing community of Ebola survivors from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
In the first-ever message sent via the mobile app, Camara “Fanta” Fantaoulen of Guinea stated in French, “Yes, I survived Ebola, thanks to the help of the brave healthcare workers who treated me. And I’ve learned that together, we can defeat this virus and protect our families and communities.” After losing her father and five other family members to suspected or confirmed Ebola, Fanta believed her death was imminent when she tested positive for the virus. Thanks to a combination of early treatment, strict adherence to her treatment plan, and sheer determination, Fanta recovered from the virus and is now providing psychosocial support to Ebola patients.
The mobile app is the latest component of the #ISurvivedEbola campaign, which 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. A key way in which the campaign does this is by documenting 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. Educational radio dramas that tell fictional yet reality-based stories of survival, and radio call-in shows that feature Ebola survivors as guests, are among the equally important campaign activities.
Funded by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, #ISurvivedEbola is part of the #TackleEbola initiative (http://www.tackleebola.com) and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s commitment of at least $100 million for Ebola relief. The campaign is implemented by PCI Media Impact in collaboration with UNICEF.