“Our goal is to provide education that leads to better understanding to prevent infections. Ebola gains foothold in poor communities where mistrust, resistance to proper care and lack of understanding of the virus and is widespread. The church’s advantage lies in its network of trusted leaders who live in the affected regions.” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United
United Methodist Communications (http://www.umcom.org), the global
communications agency of The United Methodist Church, is using several
approaches, including providing text messages to clergy in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Commentaries by trusted leaders encourage cooperation with health programs.
The agency provided partial funding for Chocolate Moose Media
(http://www.chocmoose.com) to create the video. The executive producer is
iHeed (http://www.iheed.org), a mobile-health-education innovator.
Chocolate Moose Media founder and award-winning director Firdaus Kharas
Accessed through download for local playback, all partners will distribute
the video to reach as many as possible. Distribution channels include
international organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society and churches and through social media using #Ebolavideo.
“Through a combination of weak health infrastructure, inconsistent levels of education and unpreparedness, this epidemic has become a global threat,”said Dr. Kunal D. Patel, medical director of iHeed. “Digital media can fill the gaps. In combination with technologies such as mobile phones, cinemas, projectors and tablets, animated information can help.”
According to the World Health Organization, 7,470 cases of Ebola had been reported as of Oct. 3 (http://goo.gl/ni3P1M), with 3,431 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Ebola is transmitted to humans from wild animals and spreads through
person-to-person transmission. Contact with the body of a deceased person can also play a role in transmission.