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Willie Ngumi's blog

Could mHealth and behaviour change communication help turn the Ebola tide?

To: The Health Communication Network with The Communication Initiative

From Willie Ngumi - GSMA on mHealth and Ebola.

To respond and critique Willie's perspective or to add your knowledge on this important issue please either reply by email to this note or click Read More below and comment on the platform

Could mHealth and behaviour change communication help turn the Ebola tide?

It’s not the first time I’ve heard of Ebola. Every time the epidemic has raised its ugly head, it has been a fairly safe distance from me. And like any other human being, I figured it was "their problem". Even on this occasion it didn’t raise any flags for me personally until it touched Nigeria, and when I had to book a flight to Ghana. Faced with the reality of air travel to West Africa, I began to Google everything about Ebola. Suddenly, it was an issue for me. I have a wife and three young children, as do so many people living in the affected countries.

Ebola facts

  1. It is a virus disease (Ebola Virus Disease EVD) with no cure in sight yet. So most of the time, medic response is to manage symptoms and reduce further infections where possible, considering the very high mortality rate of up to 90%.

  2. It is spread through contact with body fluids. While there may be a little debate about how effective sweat and saliva are in carrying the virus, some sources indicate that these aren’t deal breakers, compared to other body fluids. I don’t know about you, but this rings a familiar bell (i.e., Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).


Health Communication