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New partnership announced to stem Ebola

03 November 2014, 13:08

Busan - The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the GSMA and the Internet Society (ISOC), have announced a partnership to fight against Ebola.

The organisations made the pledge in Busan, Korea, at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.

The three organizations will bring together the global telecommunications and Internet communities, to leverage their extensive reach, capacity and respective memberships to increase the effectiveness of information and communications technologies (ICTs), especially mobile communications and the Internet, for better preparedness, early warning and response.

Secretary-General of the ITU, Dr Hamadoun Touré convened a special session with ITU membership during the Plenipotentiary Conference currently underway in Busan, Republic of Korea, to identify recommendations for a more effective use of ICTs in the fight against Ebola.

“The ICT Sector is critical in dealing with the Ebola threat. ICTs are already being used by ITU and its partners to support awareness raising and emergency communications, and our immediate challenge is to ensure regulatory barriers are removed to facilitate deployment and use of telecommunications applications for the purpose of saving lives. We will focus on innovative measures to increase the effective use of communications systems and applications. Human life has to be preserved and protected,” Toure said.

Touré addressed Ministers, Regulators, Ambassadors, and other delegates and appealed to them to ensure that all measures are taken to facilitate the effective deployment of ICTs for addressing the Ebola crisis while balancing this with the need to protect consumer privacy.

ITU has already deployed satellite terminals to support ongoing efforts and is currently developing new applications in close cooperation and coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Also Read:  Nurse: No option but to fight Ebola quarantine

The apps are being designed to improve awareness raising efforts, facilitate early warning alerts, report new cases of infection, and support coordination of humanitarian action at community, country and regional levels.

The GSMA has led in coordinating and standardizing the response of mobile operators in affected countries, and has collaborated with the WHO to develop the “Ebola Mobile Response Blueprint”, which provides critical guidance for operators and regulators on running effective and best practice public health campaigns leveraging mobile technology.

ISOC has set up the Ebola TECH Response Group aimed at harnessing the expertise of its extensive tech community around the world to aid the emergency response.

Nigeria, while it has eliminated the disease, is one of the countries hit by what has been the worst outbreak of the Ebola in years. Several lives were lost in the country to the disease.

– CAJ News


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