With a deadly outbreak of Ebola under way in West Africa, Voice of America is providing critical and extensive information about the epidemic to those in the region.
Ebola took root in Guinea five months ago and has recently spread to other West African countries, including Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Many countries have closed their borders and taken other measures in an attempt to contain the virus.
VOA’s French to Africa Service, which has many listeners in West Africa, is giving daily web and radio updates on the urgent health issues, and has spoken to those directly impacted, including a man who lost his wife and children to Ebola. The service’s weekly half-hour show, Washington Forum, dedicated an entire episode to the disease when the first outbreak in Guinea was reported.
In its coverage of the outbreak, VOA’s Hausa Service, whose largest audience is in Nigeria, has featured reports from hospitals in Lagos and Abuja where victims have been quarantined. It has also interviewed the Commissioner for Health of Lagos State and an epidemiologist, who explained the symptoms of the disease as well as ways to prevent and treat it. The interview aired across all Hausa platforms – radio, mobile, and online.
VOA’s coverage of the Ebola epidemic has been recognized by, among others, the Washington Post, the International Business Times and Britain’s Mirror.