With a passion and commitment to ensure that Ghana is free from the deadly Ebola virus, Vodafone has stepped up its awareness creation mechanism to focus on Education, Operational Response and Community Support.
Ebola has claimed over 6,000 lives across West Africa since the first casualty was recorded in Guinea in March, 2014. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is the largest outbreak on the continent and is currently prevalent in four countries – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali.
In Ghana, Vodafone is using mobile technology and innovation to ensure social and behavioural change in the fight against the disease. Internally, the company initiated a campaign in August 2014 to educate and offer guidance on Ebola to its staff whiles a well-coordinated plan has been put in place to engage external audiences in the country.
Nana Yaa Ofori-Koree, Head of Vodafone Foundation and Sustainability said:
“The education utilised internal communications channels, and face-to-face sessions which were deployed to deliver relevant messages to the over 1400 employees in the country coupled with a two-minute documentary on Ebola which was screened on plasma TVs in the offices, retail shops and on the Vodafone Tube. Our internal radio station, RED FM, which is run by staff, is also one of the channels we have used to drive the company’s weekly messages to staff”.
Additionally, the telecoms company has a platform that offers travel guidance and has visibility of visitors who may have been to Ebola affected countries on a continuous basis for monitoring purposes.
Throughout the course of this year, Vodafone has put in place measures to help deal with any outbreak internally including identifying hospitals designated and equipped to handle Ebola in Ghana, as well as procuring hand sanitizer dispensers to be distributed to the various offices across the country.
On the external front, the telecoms giant has compiled a two-minute video clip on the outbreak, which has been uploaded unto YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms and accessible on smartphones.
Nana Yaa added, “We continue to educate Ghanaians about Ebola in various local languages. Our medical call centre – Healthline 255 - on average receives about 350 calls daily and this number has increased to about 900 following the advent of the outbreak in August. We are not resting on our laurels until we are able to see tremendous improvement in the fight against this canker”.
In partnership with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Vodafone has introduced the Healthline Voice Message service; a free voice service which offers weekly messages on Ebola to Ghanaians. This is delivered in English and four other key local languages.
Healthfest, a Vodafone Ghana Foundation’s annual health initiative which offers free quality healthcare to communities across the country, has also been active in educating Ghanaians in various communities across the country, as part of concerted efforts to dispel the many myths surrounding the disease in Ghana. Other avenues including a Healthline app, have all been deployed in the drive.
Source: Chris Joe Quaicoe/ Email: [email protected]
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