In a media release issued by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the organisation confirms its partnership with the telecommunications industry in Sierra Leone in the application of mobile technology to help save lives.
The partnership is based on the use of a location-targeted SMS system called the Trilogy Emergency Relief Application (TERA).
According to the statement “the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS), with support from the British and Icelandic Red Cross Societies, will be able to reach 36,000 people an hour at the touch of a button with warnings of impending fires, floods, or outbreaks of disease.”
The IFRC says the country is only the second globally to launch the TERA SMS system, which is being delivered in partnership with mobile operator Airtel.
Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Chief Samuel Sam Sumana is quoted as saying, “”Last year our country was hit by the worst cholera outbreak in 40 years. Simple information could have helped prevent some of the 300 deaths we suffered. We knowSierra Leonehas a poor health record and the government is committed to doing something about that. Working with the Sierra Leone Red Cross, Airtel, Comium and SierraTel, we can make sure people are armed with the knowledge and tools they need to protect themselves and their families.”
Launching in April, the Red Cross and Airtel aim to reach 1 million people nation-wide in its first month with life-saving information on preventing malaria ahead of World Malaria Day on April 25th.