Life-Saving Ebola Information on Worldreader Mobile
October 28, 2014 By Colin McElwee
Sitting at the office in early August, I was discussing with my colleagues whether, given the emerging Ebola crises, I should take my two daughters on their long awaited trip to West Africa. We were going to Ghana, a country that had no confirmed cases of the disease (and still doesn’t), but it was clear that the situation was changing day by day. When we heard that doctors were chased out of villages and towns, suspected of contracting and spreading the disease, it was clear that lack of information about Ebola was one of the biggest problems.
This is when we decided to spread life-saving Ebola information. Using Worldreader Mobile (WRM), we knew we could deliver it right to the palm of people’s hands and within twenty-four hours we did exactly that.
Easy to read information from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention became available to hundreds of thousands of people. We also made sure that people knew this information was available to them through our prominent landing banners.
Within 4 weeks, 64,034 people in over 27 countries accessed and read this essential information. That’s nearly 30% of our total global readership who also made one of the Ebola books the number two most read content during the month of August. We were able to also track the readership by country with Nigeria, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe reading the Ebola content the most. In Nigeria, for example, 53% of our readers were actively reading at least one of the book titles on Ebola.
We have now acquired and published more than 30 titles on Ebola in English and French as well as numerous local African languages. It’s a powerful example of making current and relevant information available to many using feature phones– one of the most effective channels to deliver this information to people in remote areas.
We’ll continue to monitor how many people are reading the life-saving information and work to make sure it reaches as many people as possible. Needless to say, my two kids loved Ghana and the West African people we met, who consequently will continue to need access to relevant information, curated and presented in an effective way, at the very moment of need.