Amidst EOC’s reported failures, I propose a solution

It is disappointing to note that the 117 emergency line meant to ensure swift response to calls for reporting deaths, Ebola cases and the like is really not up to the task. The public has been complaining but these complains have always been rebuffed. But when the president tried it too and encountered the same problem, then you realize that the situation is serious. In an article published by the Standard Times Newspaper yesterday (17th September, 2014) captioned ‘President Koroma urges EOC to improve on response time, …’ the president revealed that he has tried the line on several occasions, especially at late night, and has sometimes had no response from the Centre. We all know that it is now an offense to touch any deceased person without report the death for possible investigation. But what happens when cases are not responded to well in time?

Well, while the Emergency Operations Center works hard to step up on the president’s call, I think creating a platform that offers several reporting options can go a long way in improving response time. I have deployed an online mapping instance which can greatly help in death and Ebola case reporting. A full proposal (click to download proposal) outlining the benefits and needs of such a system has been sent to EOC but in summary, the added benefits include:

  1. Multiple reporting channels which will significantly improve the response time
  2. Detailed mapping of the disease with full report of each case including pictures and videos
  3. People can access and follow up on cases
  4. Offers a complete documentation of the epidemic which can be available even years after the outbreak
  5. Anyone with internet facility can access the report.

Colleagues, as we prepare for the lock down this evening, I want to hear your stories. Go to the map at http://mapebola2014.com/ and report any suspected/confirmed Ebola case. Let your voices be heard.

How to submit a report?

Reports can be submitted using

  1. online forms
  2. Android phones/ Tablets
  3. iOS phones/iPad
  4. Text messaging
  5. Email
  6. Twitter

For online forms, simply

  1. Give the report a title
  2. Give a detailed description of the account
  3. Choose a Date (Modify Date)
  4. Choose a Category for your report
  5. State your name and email address (this is absolutely optional)
  6. Find Location where this happened (but don’t panic if you can’t do this)
  7. State Location Name (this is very important)
  8. Add a news link (if any)
  9. Add Video (if any)
  10. Add Photo (if any)
  11. Hit ‘Submit’ button to submit your result.

See the screenshot below.

screenshot 2

If you use an Android phone/Tablet or an iOS phone/iPad then

1. Follow these links to download your app:

Android phones/Tablet:   http://www.appbrain.com/app/ushahidi/com.ushahidi.android.app

iOS Phones/iPad:   download.ushahidi.com/track_download.php?download=ios

2. After installation,

  • click the ‘Ushahidi’ icon on your device,
  • click the plus sign and choose ‘Add Map By URL’
  • Enter a name for the map, a brief description and this url http://mapebola.comli.com/sl/
  • Click Ok and you are done.

Once configured correctly, you will see the reports (under Reports) and the map (under Map) as shown below respectively. You can then follow and submit reports just like the one described for online forms above. You can also comment on reports.

mobile screenshot

Oooops… I was almost tempted to say ‘Happy Lockdown’. Anywayzzzzz.. don’t forget to tell your stories.

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