- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

West Africans Keep Calm Despite Ebola and Remind the World Who They Are

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Citizen Media, Digital Activism, Health
Screen capture from "Ebola: A Poem For The Living," YouTube. [1]

Screen capture from “Ebola: A Poem For The Living,” YouTube.

As the confirmed Ebola death toll [2] nears 5,000, with at least 10,000 reported cases, many in West Africa are utilizing the power of new media in the fight against the disease.

One such initiative is Ebola Alert [3] in Nigeria:

EbolaAlert is an evidence-driven group of volunteer professionals working on Ebola Virus Disease Interventions.

It was created by Doctors but also involves active participation of other professionals from different walks of life.

The initiative uses Twitter [4] to post daily Ebola-related news and to organise Ebola chat sessions between experts and the general public:

You can keep abreast of all the necessary information by following our activities on twitter.

From the daily #EbolaNews that is posted between 7AM and 8AM WAT to special activities like #EbolaScience where confusing Ebola issues are cracked and clarified.

The #EbolaChat Sessions are Twitter Events where Experts from around the world are available to discuss chosen topics with the general public. There have been #EbolaChat Sessions on as many issues as you can imagine

In Sierra Leone, Hannah Foullah [5] is using Facebook to fight Ebola-related stigma. She is leading the campaign “Beauty for Country: I am 100% Sierra Leonean, Not a Virus” with fellow citizens Elvinah Ade Johnson and Haja Mariatu Thomas.

In a video [6] posted to BBC Africa's YouTube channel, Foullah says the campaign aims to reaffirm Sierra Leonean identity.

Below are some of the photos posted to the Facebook page for “Beauty for Country”:

Beauty for Country photo posted on  Hannah Foullah Facebook page.

Beauty for Country photo posted on Hannah Foullah Facebook page.




In the United States, the Nashville-based organization United Methodist Communications [7] has collaborated with Chocolate Moose Media [8] and iHeed [9] to create an animated video [10], “Ebola: A Poem For The Living,” for use in West Africa to help dispel myths about how Ebola is spread. The video also promotes ways to prevent the spread of the disease. The group is planning to translate the cartoon into several West African languages.

Follow our in-depth coverage: The Struggle to #StopEbola in West Africa [11]