rwanda-ebolaTelecom operators in Rwanda have joined the campaign to rid West Africa of Ebola through an African Union inititative.

Under an initiative dubbed “The Ebola Solidarity Campaign,” the Telecom companies will use an SMS dedicated platform to raise funds from citizens for the deployment of African health workers to affected countries.

“The campaign being launched in Rwanda today is an important milestone toward mobilising resources to help our sister African countries devastated by the Ebola outbreak. It is great to see telecom companies come together in efforts to avert the spread of the virus.”  said the Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho.

He was addressing the media at a joint telecom press conference in Kigali last week.

“Mobile communication remains the most powerful communications tool providing reach to larger populations. The use of mobile phones for this campaign offers us an opportunity to Rwandans to collectively support countries affected by this deadly disease as well as drive action beyond borders,” Teddy Bhullar, CEO Airtel Rwanda said on behalf of the Rwandan telecommunications service providers.

The African Union has partnered with several telecom companies across Africa including Airtel Africa, MTN, Tigo, Orange, Vodacom and Safaricom to raise funds from a potential 300 million subscribers that will ultimately go towards improving responsiveness to the disease.

The cost per SMS across all networks in the country will go for Rwf150 texting ‘Stop Ebola’ to code 7979 to be able to donate

Over 41 telecommunication companies across Africa are participating in this campaign and the funds realized from this campaign will be channeled to fight the Ebola Virus.

A total of 4951 deaths have been reported since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, which is currently prevalent in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali.