The Ebola virus is a worldwide health concern – one WeChat and our users feel strongly about. That’s why WeChat is taking an active part in supporting the fight against the disease by offering the latest news and information to our community while also supporting major global aid organizations.
Our Africa team saw an opportunity for WeChat, the fastest growing social communications platform, to be a central point of information with the Ebola24 Official Account (OA). The account is currently available in English and French. It serves as a repository of information and support for not only the inhabitants of affected areas, but also for anyone wanting to know more about the crisis. Endorsed by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and with content from Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), it covers topics like treatment, concerns, news, symptoms, prevention and success stories. With immediate access to doctors and ability to find the nearest clinic through the OA, Ebola24 is fighting Ebola both on- and offline.
“In the midst of the worst Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen, information is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight the spread of this devastating disease,” said Kate Dodson, vice president for global health strategy at the UNF, on collaborating with WeChat on Ebola24. “WeChat’s Ebola24 OA makes essential information easily accessible to the people who need it most.”
Besides being better informed, users can also take action through the account by signing a petition started by ONE.org, an international campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people fighting to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
“Every day that we continue to wait – for funding to reach the ground, for nurses and doctors to be deployed, for the shattered medical services to be rebuilt – more people die,” says David Cole, international digital director at ONE.org.
In addition to the petition, there is a ‘donate’ button, where users can donate to UNF or MSF’s efforts to help curb Ebola.
“Ebola24 connects people concerned about the outbreak directly with opportunities to support the vital and ongoing efforts to stop Ebola,” says Borrie la Grange, head of communications at MSF South Africa.
The MSF has been working to fight the spread of Ebola and bring care to thousands of people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since March 2014. WeChat doesn’t collect these donations, but simply acts as a way for concerned people to get in touch with the organizations working against the epidemic.
WeChat is serious about helping in any way it can by providing a communications platform for crucial information and enabling donations. To stay informed about Ebola and make a difference, no matter how small, download the WeChat app, search Ebola24 (ID: ebola24) and follow the account.
NGOs and anyone else wanting to get involved with Ebola24 should contact Justin Engel on Justin@wechat.co.za for more information.