We still haven’t kicked Ebola or its threat out of our lives permanently but at least more and more entities are getting involved in the cause. Econet Zimbabwe, through its health division Econet Health, now has an awareness campaign via its mHealth product, EcoHealth Tips.
The service can be accessed through the same USSD code for EcoHealth Tips, *300*1#, after which a subscriber must select option 1. Live Well. This directs a subscriber to a menu that has the Ebola Tips as option 2.
The tips on the Ebola virus are free and once someone subscribes for the service they will receive their daily tip on how to avoid the virus or exposing oneself to situations where the risk of contracting it are high.
This praise worthy effort is the first widespread distribution of information and knowledge on Ebola using mobile telecoms in Zimbabwe. Econet Wireless has the advantage of being the largest network in terms of subscriber base, a fact that will mean a wider distribution of the essential Ebola health tips especially since the service is free.
While the other mobile networks do not have a palate for health service delivery it would be commendable on their part to also step in with their own SMS based awareness campaigns. With the ubiquity of mobile phone usage the networks have the best platforms to spread life saving facts on the Ebola virus and more importantly allay fears when false rumors are spread.