Viral Education via Mobile Phone: Virtual International Networks and Ebola Prevention in Sierra Leone

This chapter documents a strategy for the development and deployment of educational content on Ebola prevention and treatment targeted at low-literate learners speaking diverse languages. During the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Njala University partnered with Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to create educational animations on Ebola. Drawing on an international network of collaborators, these animations were then placed into multiple languages for Sierra Leone. Njala University in turn acted as the central hub for engaging local partner groups to deploy this content throughout Sierra Leone. This chapter describes the development process, which occurred during the outbreaks and the ICT tools now available to the global health community. The educational animations created during the 2014 Ebola outbreak are now available in multiple languages for Sierra Leone, as well as other West African countries, along with a highly scal-able deployment pathway that can be rapidly operationalized during future outbreaks or modeled for other outbreak or health crisis situations.
Research Paper