Facebook offers ways for users to help fight Ebola virus

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Facebook is doing what it can to help fight the Ebola virus. Earlier, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan, donated $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control. Now Facebook users can donate to the cause and learn more about the disease.

Many Facebook users are seeing a prompt atop News Feed to donate to organizations battling Ebola, such as the International Medical Corps, the American Red Cross and Save The Children.

Facebook is also collaborating with UNICEF to show users information on Ebola virus symptoms, as well as treatment to people in targeted regions. Facebook is working with NetHope to provide communications to medical and aid workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Facebook’s Naomi Gleit, VP of Product Management and Chris Daniels, VP of Internet.org, wrote about these efforts:

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.