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The Red Cross Is Using Text Messaging To Take Down Ebola
National Public Radio

In Sierra Leone, cellphone users are as likely to get a text about hand washing as about a social gathering. In an effort to contain Ebola, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has teamed up with local cellphone provider Airtel and the Sierra Leonean government to send health reminders via text message.

Since the Ebola outbreak began last April, the Trilogy Emergency Relief Application (TERA) system has sent out about 2 million text messages a month in Sierra Leone, reminding people to seek treatment early, avoid physical contact with others and not resist the efforts of community health care workers. TERA, a system created by Bolivian software company Salamanca Solutions and set up by the IFRC, can send a text to every phone turned on in a specific region. The texts are delivered free, so there’s no financial burden to the recipient.