Android app, social media helped Nigeria to contain Ebola – Johnson

Android app, social media helped Nigeria to contain Ebola – Johnson

Omobola Johnson, Nigeria's communication technology minister. Image by HumanIPO

Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s communication technology minister has said technology played crucial roles in the successful containment of Ebola virus disease in Nigeria. She said this at the ongoing International Telecommunications Union ITU 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) in Busan, Republic of Korea.

According to the minister, the Android-based mobile app reduced reporting times of infections by 75 percent, adding that test results were scanned to tablets and uploaded to emergency databases and field teams got text message alerts on their phones informing them of the results.

Johnson said the combination of the internet and mobile cellular phones has opened up tremendous opportunities for countries like Nigeria.

“The steep increase in mobile use is driven by a number of factors, particularly, the additional ways in which mobile phones are being used in Nigeria. Beyond conducting voice conversations, mobile phones are often the preferred channel for receiving data and for conducting transactions in Nigeria – making phones an indispensable tool  used as-cameras, wallets, shops, music players, movie screens, and information or service centres of Nigerians,” Johnson said.

“Nigeria’s policy focus is in step with the reality of the mobile internet revolution spreading across the globe- thus, the Ministry of Communication Technology is looking to create a viable environment for the proliferation of lower priced devices, increased investment in network infrastructure, and increased availability of spectrum for mobile broadband, in the knowledge that these will further drive growth in the nation’s ICT sector.”

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