" Ebola has claimed over 5,000 lives across some parts of West Africa since it was first reported in Guinea in 2013."
Addis Ababa, Dec 2 - The African Union (AU) will be launching the Africa Against Ebola SMS resource mobilisation campaign to raise funds for the fight against Ebola.

The launch of the SMS campaign will be coincided Wednesday in Lagos, Nigeria, with the sendoff ceremony of a 250-member Nigerian health corps to Ebola-affected countries, under the AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) mission, Xinhua reported citing an AU statement Tuesday.

For the first time, mobile network operators across Africa are partnering the AU Commission to support the fight against Ebola in West Africa, it said.

The initiative, operating under the hash tag, #AfricaAgainstEbola, will use an SMS dedicated platform to raise funds for the deployment of African health workers to affected countries, according the statement.

The SMS fund-raising campaign will use the short code 7979 with local adaptations where technology requires; and customers will be asked to text Stop Ebola to this code in order to voluntarily donate in their respective countries.

Mobile operators across Africa, including Airtel, Econet Wireless, Etisalat, Millicom (Tigo), MTN Group, Orange, Safaricom, Vodacom and Vodafone Ghana are participating in this campaign, noted the statement.

The campaign will run between now and the end of February 2015.

The launch of the SMS campaign and the sendoff ceremony for the Nigerian medical corps will be attended by the leadership of Nigeria, the Chairperson of AU Commission, the top management of Africa's mobile network operators, and many senior government and AU officials as well as the medical professionals who will be departing for the Ebola-affected countries.

The AU is leading the African fight against Ebola under its ASEOWA mission, and 87 medical professionals have already been deployed to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the statement.

The AU's goal is to send more than 1,000 health workers before Christmas.

Ebola has claimed over 5,000 lives across some parts of West Africa since it was first reported in Guinea in 2013.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is the largest outbreak on the continent, affecting mostly Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.


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