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The Internet Society Joins the Fight Against Ebola

By Dawit Bekele and Sofie Maddens

The spread of Ebola and the ravages that it is leaving behind is imprinting its mark on all of us and has a very personal impact on people in the affected countries and around the world. Like others, the ISOC community of staff, volunteers, and members want to help. We have therefore come together to establish the Ebola Tech Response Group.

Through this “Ebola Tech Response”, we are challenging all of us in the Internet and ICT communities and beyond to collaborate to help fight this outbreak by using the Internet and other communications technologies. Please join us by visiting our community platform.

The “Ebola Tech Response” is a first step so we can brainstorm how the ISOC community can contribute to the global response, including by quickly identifying a small number of technology based projects that can be implemented in the affected countries using our collective expertise and by sharing expertise, knowledge and information with other experts.

We were pleased that, during his opening remarks at the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference opening ceremony in Busan on Monday, 20 October, Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré told participants that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked UN agencies around the world to help, and called upon participants attending the Conference to discuss how to harness the power of ICTs to find solutions to the outbreak and get important health-related messages straight to people on the ground.  We look forward to contributing.

We hope that you will join us to seek ways to leverage the use of the Internet and other communications technologies to help facilitate solutions for saving lives, particularly as we face this outbreak of Ebola.