Ebola survivors elevate the hashtag power to multimedia

2015 is a year of innovation and creating solutions for ourselves regardless of our abundance or lack of resources.

West Africans have taken the use of the hashtag to greater heights through an interactive multimedia campaign – the launching of a new interactive mobile application that allows Ebola survivors to connect with various members of the public sharing public health advice and daily challenges they face in their post recovery lives.

Funded by by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, PCI Media Impact and UNICEF, the mobile application leverages survivor stories from across the affected areas in West Africa, and it not only helps to share information that could not only save lives but also break the stigma that Ebola created in the areas.

The mobile app made its first debut in Guinea yesterday, where Ebola has claimed 1 767 lives thus far. A woman, Camara “Fanta” Fantaoulen, the first Ebola survivor in the country is the first survivor to share her story of being diagnosed and her life after the virus. Her story appears on the newly launched #ISurvivedEbola website along with stories of Ebola survivors from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

“Yes, I survived Ebola, thanks to the help of the brave healthcare workers who treated me. And I’ve learned that together, we can defeat this virus and protect our families and communities.” She states in her first message defiantly, as she lost her father and five other family members to the virus.

For her, testing positive to Ebola made her believe that her time on earth was nigh, however a combination of early treatment and adherence to the treatment plan contributed to her full recovery. Her miraculous healing inspired her to provide psychosocial support to other Ebola patients via social technology. The video below depicts an unnerving and real story of her journey with Ebola.