Smartphones to help fight Ebola in Liberia

Ericsson empowers Liberia's health workers with smartphones.

Ericsson to issue health workers in Liberia with smartphones to help combat Ebola.

Technology comm1unications and services firm Ericsson has announced that it plans to give smartphones to health workers in Liberia to help fight the spread of Ebola.

Ericsson has already offered some 1,000 smartphones to health workers in other Ebola affected countries namely Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The Ebola virus is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. Ebola outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The deadly virus first broke out in West Africa and to date has claimed more than 5,000 lives.

Ericsson says it hopes by equipping health workers in the highly affected areas with smartphones, it will help the communities affected.

Vice president and head of strategy, marketing and communications for sub-Saharan Africa at Ericsson, Tumi Sekhukhune told ITWeb Africa the company has partnered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to connect and provide support to people impacted by health, natural disaster and conflict-driven humanitarian crises.

"Technology is a huge enabler for reducing poverty globally, however now that there is this Ebola crisis, we believe that technology will be a key solution to solving the crisis," said Sekhukhune.

Using the smartphones the health workers will be able to collect data. They will be able to upload and download data, she said.

Sekhukhune said they hope the data collected by the health workers would help figure out how to combat the Ebola virus as well as provide the health workers with additional information.