The Ebola virus is quickly becoming an unstoppable issue in the African continent. It seems as quickly as authorities try to fight it the more it is spreading. Countries from around the world are trying to help by sending medical professionals, aid, health kits and basically whatever they can offer that might help. It also seems tech companies are starting to get in on the action. Only last week Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook donated $25 million to try and help the fight against Ebola. Now today the news coming in is that Samsung are joining the ongoing fight.
The South Korean tech giant has announced a number of ways in which they will help the fight against the spread of the disease. Firstly, Samsung will be providing financial means for the purchasing of hazmat suits in Ghana while also disturbing hand sanitizers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Samsung also notes they will be setting up an Ebola SMS text service in South Africa. However, the biggest news is that the company will be donating 30,000 smartphones (estimated worth of $1 million) to support the fight against Ebola. The devices will be donated through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA) and utilised by the Humanitarian Connectivity Project. In short this is a UN IT project designed to use mobile devices to provide humanitarian support in disaster situations. The devices will be distributed to three of the worst hit African countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and used on the frontline in 60 Ebola medical clinics.
The devices in question are Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo’s and they will come pre-loaded with the UN’s Smart Health Pro app which will help medical staff to treat patients and collect medical data. It is also being reported that the devices will also be used by patients in quarantine so they can contact their families. Lastly, the announcement also notes that once the Ebola virus has been contained and the spread subsides the smartphones will be destroyed to avoid any further spread of contamination. At first it does sound strange for a tech company to help by supplying smartphones although in reality to simply donate money would only be used to purchase goods to fight the spread of the disease. As such it is good to see Samsung taking the initiative and trying to think realistically how they can help to make an impactful difference. Are you pleased to se Samsung joining the fight against Ebola? Would you now like to see more of the big tech companies follow in the same footsteps?