Journey’s Ebola Care initiative is being further expanded and adapted in West Africa following a donation of 1000 smart phones.

Two months ago the South African start-up developed the app in conjunction with a Liberian-based organisation called More Than Me to assist in the battle against Ebola.

The initiative attracted global press interest and was featured in prominent publications including Forbes, CNN, Al Jazeera and Fast Company. The exposure enabled Journey to reach out to US-based technology companies for support, and ultimately secure a donation of 1000 Android phones that fuelled the expansion of the project. For their invaluable contribution, brothers Philip and Malan Joubert have been honoured by the South African Parliament, and More Than Me founder Katie Meyler was named one of TIME’s Persons of the Year for her work with Monrovian orphans during the crisis.

Over the past two months the Journey team has worked to make the app available to more organisations battling the spread of Ebola. Journey partnered with GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding platform for non-profits that has existing relationships with local organisations fighting the disease. Through GlobalGiving, Journey was able to engage with an additional 20 aid organisations in West Africa, and is now developing customised versions of the Ebola Care app based on each organisation’s needs and existing processes.

The Ebola Care app has the ability to benefit a range of different activities undertaken by aid organisations. For instance, the app is currently being customised for an NGO called IsraAid that focuses on the psychological well-being of those affected by the crisis, from health workers to survivors. Over-stressed, unmonitored workers can make costly mistakes that, in the case of Ebola, could prove fatal. The app will be customised to collect data on health workers’ psychological state so that an appropriate response can be arranged and mental health risks can be mitigated. The app will also capture inspirational stories from survivors to inspire hope and raise awareness in affected communities.

Journey’s technology ensures apps are well-suited to the remote areas where medical care is typically administered in the developing world. Apps continue to work offline, are easy to use, can be deployed rapidly and updated instantly, and work best on low-cost android phones. Journey has been involved in a myriad of successful mobile health projects over the last five years, many of which took place in rural or informal settings. It is with this expertise and technological capability in mind that Philip and Malan decided to direct some of Journey’s resources at the Ebola disaster in West Africa.

For more information on the Ebola Care initiative, visit www.appsagainstebola.org.

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