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In wake of the growing threat of Ebola, a new mobile telephone based mapping service has been created in a bid to track the deadly disease and help communities hit by the virus in west Africa, developers said Monday.
The system, formed after collaboration between technology giant IBM, mobile telephone companies and academics, allows people in affected areas to send free text messages about Ebola to track problems and trends with the program mapping the exact location from where it is sent.
It was created after analyzing specific regions with growing numbers of suspected Ebola cases which require urgent supplies like soap and electricity, as well as faster response times for body collection and burials.
The company claims it can create a range of maps to track needs and problems, to better allow health workers and governments tackle them.
More than 10,000 people have contracted the deadly virus in West Africa, according to the latest World Health Organization figures.
IBM Research Africa’s chief scientist Uyi Stewart said in a statement that the system would enable communities directly affected by Ebola to provide valuable insight about how to fight it.