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Ebola information services added to Facebook's Internet.org app for Zambia

Michael Malakata | Oct. 28, 2014
As the Ebola virus continues to ravage West Africa with no signs of abating, Facebook has upgraded its Internet.org app by adding additional services for its Zambian users in a bid to stop the spread of the disease.

The Internet.org app Ebola information app comes less than a week after the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) launched the Ebola information service on multimedia instant communication service WhatsApp. The service is intended to provide a continual flow of public health information on Ebola.

"Everyone deserves access to basic services like critical health information," said Andrew Bocking, Facebook's Internet.org product manager.

The new Ebola information services on social media will help sensitize people on the need to be alert to signs of the virus and to immediately seek medical attention if they believe they have been infected with the virus, said Zambian Health Minister Joseph Kasonde.

"It makes me happy to know that the message on Ebola is being put across for free through Facebook. Therefore I urge people to utilize the service fully," Kasonde told the IDG News Service.

Initial response to the Ebola content on Facebook's Internet.org app has been positive.

"The message on the Internet.org has helped me to get answers to most of the questions I had about Ebola virus and how it can be prevented," said Wilfred Mwale, a user of the app.

 

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