Volunteers help West African firm develop Ebola education app

2 Oct 2014

An international team of volunteers and a West African tech company have used a free platform to develop a free mobile app about Ebola that has been downloaded more than 5,000 times in about two months.

Tech firm Code Innovation, with the help of volunteers from Chile, Lebanon, Kenya, Senegal and Gambia, created About Ebola via the free platform Snapp to help users prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Not only has an Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed more than 3,300 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it continues to spread.

Most recently, the US Centres for Disease Control confirmed Tuesday that a patient in a hospital in Dallas, Texas, has the virus.

About Ebola built with Snapp

Using Israeli technology platform Snapp, which lets anyone with an idea produce a mobile app from any smartphone via its free platform, the team created About Ebola in 11 days, The Tower reported.

The app (available for iOS since August and Android since late July) has been designed to support public health outreach and communication efforts to educate the public about the virus.

Content for the app has been adapted from information on the websites of WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Volunteers have also translated the app into African languages, including Wolof, Jola and Swahili.

Translations into other African languages will be included as they are crowdsourced from the public, Code Innovation said.

Microscopic view of Ebola virus image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic